White House faces backlash for Pearl Harbor analogy when asked why Biden didn’t visit 9/11 sites

After asking why the president did not plan on visiting the 9/11 memorial sites, the White House allegedly responded that 22 years after the Pearl Harbor attack, ‘US Presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii’

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 12 September 2023 00:15 BST
Fox News reporters explains why Biden didn’t mark 9/11 anniversary at attack sites

The White House is facing a backlash for its odd explanation for why President Joe Biden wasn’t visiting the 9/11 memorial sites on the tragedy’s 22nd anniversary.

According to Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, he asked the White House why Mr Biden was in Vietnam rather than at 9/11 memorial sites; officials reportedly replied that 22 years after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, “US Presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii.”

Some social media users questioned the analogy.

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on 7 December, 1941, when Japan struck the US naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii — which was not yet a state, but a US territory. The assault, which killed some 2,400 people, launched the US into World War II.

By contrast, the assaults on the World Trade Center’s twin towers and the Pentagon — as well as the plane that crashed in Pennyslvania after passengers tried to retake the aircraft from the hijacker pilot — resulted in the deadliest terror attack to ever occur on US soil.

One user wrote, “It’s worth noting that, as opposed to being attacked on our homeland, Pearl Harbor was a military outpost at that time and Hawaii wasn’t even part of the US.”

Another remarked, “Big difference between them. Pearl Harbor was an attack on a military base, 9/11 targeted civilians just going about their day.”

Texas Republican Congressman Troy Nehls called the White House’s response “unbelievable.”

The Independent has reached out to the White House for comment.

Joe Biden’s account on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, posted earlier on Monday in remembrance of the tragedy: “Today, we remember the 2,977 precious lives stolen from us on 9/11 and reflect on all that was lost in the fire and ash that September morning.”

The statement continued, “The American story itself changed on this day 22 years ago. But what could not — and will not — change is the character of this nation.”

The president later delivered remarks to servicemembers stationed in Alaska, saying: “Let us remember who we are as a nation. We never forget. We’re never afraid. We endure we overcome. We are the United States of America. And there is nothing literally historically, nothing has been beyond our capacity when we set our mind to it together.”

Vice President Kamala Harris made an appearance in New York City on Monday to attend the 9/11 memorial service.

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