Trump marks another 9-11 anniversary with war still raging

It’s been 18 years since commandeered planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a moment of silence honouring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On his third Sept. 11 anniversary as president, Donald Trump on Wednesday remembered the victims, first responders and U.S. troops that have battled in Afghanistan, and he unleashed threats against militants contemplating another attack on America.

“If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit and that spirit is unbreakable,” Trump said at the Pentagon.

It has been 18 years since al-Qaida hijackers commandeered four U.S. commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Like Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump marked the day with the war still raging.

“If for any reason, they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before and I’m not even talking about nuclear power,” Trump said without elaborating on what he meant. “They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them.”

He spent most of his speech at the Pentagon remembering those immediately affected by the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

“For the families who join us, this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss. It’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over. The last kiss. The last phone call. The last time hearing those precious words, ‘I love you,’” said Trump, who began the day observing a moment of silence on the South Lawn with first lady Melania Trump and White House staff.

“Then the attack, the anguish of knowing your family member had boarded one of these flights or was working at the World Trade Center or serving right here at the Pentagon. You waited. You prayed. You answered that most dreaded call, and your life changed forever.”

Trump was running behind schedule and arrived late to the Pentagon where he was greeted by Defence Secretary Mark Esper and placed a wreath of red, white and blue flowers at the memorial site.

The moment of silence at the Pentagon is traditionally observed at 9:37 a.m., the time when a plane was flown into the building. But this year, the anniversary was observed 10 minutes late, at 9:47 a.m.

Less than a month after the terror attacks, Bush announced on Oct. 7, 2001, that U.S. and British troops had begun striking Afghanistan for harbouring the al-Qaida terrorists blamed for 9-11. The massive air campaign initially targeted troops, training camps and air defences of the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan under a harsh version of Islamic law from 1996 and hosted Osama bin Laden as he masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks.

For nearly a year, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been negotiating with the Taliban on issues including a U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees to keep Afghanistan from again becoming a launch pad for global terror attacks. Those talks came to an abrupt halt last weekend when Trump tweeted that he had cancelled a proposed meeting with the Taliban and members of the Afghan government at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

Many fear his cancellation of negotiations will bring more carnage as the U.S. and Taliban, as well as Afghan forces, step up their offensives and everyday people die in the crossfire.

It’s unclear if the U.S.-Taliban talks will resume, but Trump has said he wants to withdraw about 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. service members still in Afghanistan. More than 2,400 American service members have been killed in the conflict.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

From left, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, wait for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to arrive to participate in a moment of silence honoring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a moment of silence honouring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a moment of silence honouring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Just Posted

Sexual assault stories from treeplanting camps ‘shocking but not surprising’

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Rotary raffle underway for Phoenix school equipment program

The proceeds from the raffle will go to purchase new equipment for school kids to use at the hill

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Indigenous daycare prepares to welcome learners in Grand Forks

Talking Little Feet Aboriginal Head Start is set to open next month

Phoenix Foundation report highlights funding priorities in Boundary

Boundary organizations can begin applying for Phoenix Foundation grants on March 1

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read