How will a New Yorker president handle the solemn annual commemoration of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001?
That’s the question on many minds as Monday gets underway. Donald Trump, Queens native and 45th president, has a busy schedule ahead of him. Here’s a look at where he’ll be.
8:45 a.m. ET—Trump will begin his day by observing a moment of silence at the White House in Washington. The moment is meant to remember the almost 3,000 people killed at the three sites involved in the terrorist attacks of that day: the World Trade Center in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington; and a field near Shanksville, Penn. The event, which will also include First Lady Melania Trump, is scheduled around the 9:03 a.m. Eastern time that the first plane struck one of the World Trade Center Towers.
9:35 a.m. ET—Trump will then join a ceremony led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon. The U.S. Department of Defense headquarters is about four miles from the White House.
At 10:35 a.m. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing. At 11:00 a.m. he’ll receive an update on Hurricane Irma.
Trump will not participate in the remembrance scheduled in Shanksville, Penn. Vice President Mike Pence will represent the administration at the service, which will include brief remarks, special music, reading of the names of the forty passengers and crew members of Flight 93, and ringing of the Bells of Remembrance.
The Sept. 11 remembrances, all officially nonpartisan, pose challenges for President Trump. As a New York City resident and presidential candidate he has long lauded the bravery of the emergency responders who fulfilled their duties on that day.
“In that darkest hour, the entire world bore witness to the strength and courage of our mighty nation,” he said during the 2016 remembrace. “Firefighters, police officers and port authority workers rushed into danger, into smoke, into fire to save the lives of people they had never met—performing their sacred duties until their last moments on Earth. Heroes like Father Mychal Judge who tended to the dead and dying until he too joined them in Heaven. These were the finest and bravest and toughest people that could ever grace a city.”
Yet he also criticized President George W. Bush’s handling of the attacks and accused officials of failing to protect Americans from harm.
“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign,” Trump told former Florida governor Jeb Bush last year during their bid to become the Republican presidential candidate. “Remember that.” Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Trump said, referring to G.W. Bush: “The worst attack ever in this country, it was during his presidency….if the president went to the beach, we would have been better off, believe me.”