In a recent address to US troops in Anchorage, Alaska, President Joe Biden stirred controversy with remarks about his presence at Ground Zero. He claimed to have been there a day after the September 11 attacks, a statement that appears to contradict his own account in his 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep.”
Biden’s Controversial Claim
President Joe Biden recently made a claim that has sparked controversy, suggesting that he was at Ground Zero on September 12, 2001, the day following the tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Memoir vs. Speech
This statement starkly contrasts the account he provided in his 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep,” where he says he was in Washington, DC, on that day.
Was He at Ground Zero on September 12, 2001?
The discrepancy has fanned the flames of public debate.
Address to US Troops
During a recent address to the US troops on the 2001 attacks’ anniversary, President Biden said, “I join you on this solemn day to renew our sacred vow: never forget. Never forget.”
“We never forget. Ground Zero in New York – I remember standing there the next day and looking at the building. And I felt like I was looking through the gates of hell.”
President Biden’s Shifting Recollection
However, President Biden offers a different version of events in his memoirs. He detailed his arrival in Washington by train from his Delaware residence on the morning of September 11, 2001.
He Commented on the Plane Strike
He commented on the aftermath of the plane’s strike on the Pentagon: “I could see a brown haze of smoke hanging in the otherwise crystal-clear sky beyond the Capitol dome.”
“I Headed Back to the Capitol the Next Morning”
Further, he stated, “I headed back to the Capitol the next morning.” This places him squarely in Washington, not New York, on September 12.
Archive Footage vs. White House Account
Adding to the conflicting narratives, archived news footage from September 12, 2001, captured Mr. Biden delivering a speech in the Senate chamber.
White House Response
Upon further inquiry into President Biden’s claims, the White House provided a photograph and accompanying news article, placing him at Ground Zero on September 20, 2001.
Confirming the Timing of Biden’s Ground Zero Visit
Subsequently, a White House official confirmed: “The president first visited the World Trade Center nine days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.”
A Presidential First in 9/11 Commemoration
The site for President Biden’s address was a military base in Anchorage, Alaska, during his return journey from India and Vietnam.
This marked the first occasion when a sitting US president did not commemorate the gravest terrorist attack on American soil at a dedicated memorial site.
Exaggeration or Memory Lapse?
The chasm between Mr. Biden’s recent claim and his earlier account raises questions. Was he attempting to exaggerate for effect, or did he genuinely misremember the date of his visit?
Is Biden Amplifying Stories for Effect?
Critics argue that given President Biden’s track record of amplifying anecdotes, it might lean towards the former.
Voter Concerns Over Age
Yet, current poll results reveal an increasing proportion of voters expressing unease over his age, especially as he gears up for a re-election bid.
Politicians Making up Stories
Online discussions on this issue have been animated. One user remarked, “Career politicians, say whatever they think will get a positive reaction and will never admit it was all made up.”
Biden’s Memory in the Firing Line Again
Another offered their opinion that “His memory is obviously going. He tends to make up stories about his family and past, that are simply not true or accurate.”
Memory, Aging, and Presidential Responsibilities
The discrepancy between President Biden’s recent account and documented evidence, including his personal narrative, has opened a Pandora’s box of debates surrounding memory, aging, and the gravity of holding the highest office in the nation.
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