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Republican Presidential Candidates Pay Tribute to 9/11 Victims, Heroic First Responders

Republican presidential candidates took to social media on Monday to honor the 2,977 victims killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the first responders who exhibited heroism in the aftermath of the attacks.

Former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate, released a video on Truth Social emphasizing that “no one who lived through the horror of the September 11 terrorist attacks can ever forget the agony and the anguish of that terrible day”:

“Today, on the solemn anniversary of those monstrous attacks, we remember the 2,977 precious souls who were savagely taken from us on that morning 22 years ago, leaving a void that can never be filled,” Trump said. “No matter what happens, it can never be filled.” 

Trump honored the first responders in New York City, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and from around the country who selflessly worked in recovery efforts, and noted he would pray for the victims’ families. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence authored an op-ed for Fox News to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the attacks. Pence honored the victims, their families, as well as the first responders: 

On this solemn day, we pay a debt of honor and remember the families who lost loved ones when planes struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pa. While we pause today to remember the tragic loss of 2,977 innocent lives on 9/11 and the heroes forged that day and in the years since, we also must remain vigilant when confronted by the evil foes that seek to destroy the American way of life and all that we hold dear.  While we did not start that war, nor did we seek it, at every turn, our armed forces have taken the fight to the enemy on our terms.  What the terrorists of 9/11 did not understand is that Americans’ love of peace is only exceeded by our resolve to defend our freedom.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) declared, “We will never forget” in a post on X, formerly Twitter, honoring the nearly 3,000 victims:

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who is the youngest Republican presidential candidate in history, paid tribute to the victims and heroes and recounted his experience as a junior in high school on September 11, 2001:

I was in U.S. history class in 11th grade on 9/11. We didn’t just learn history, we watched it unfold as we watched the aftermath of the catastrophe. I remember to this day watching the heroism of the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who ran not from Ground Zero, but toward it, to help their fellow Americans in need. We honor those brave Americans today — and those who lost their lives as well as their families.

In the weeks that followed, we weren’t black or white; gay or straight; Democrat or Republican. We were all American. In the face of tragedy, we found unity. In the face of despair, we found renewed hope. Even as we pray that no calamity like it ever happens again, we can still long to be reunited once again as one nation under God.

Now 22 years later, we have a growing generation of young adults who weren’t yet born on that infamous day. We have an opportunity to ask how we commemorate our national identity on this day. We should celebrate our ability to gradually heal even our deepest wounds. We will forever continue to pursue our more perfect Union.

Ramaswamy will be attending a memorial Monday night at the “[New York Fire Department’s] 10 House”:

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a post on X that “the soul of America was shaken” on September 11, 2001, “in a way we had never felt before.” 

“We will never forget the precious lives lost and the heroes who emerged — the firefighters who rushed into the towers, the airline passengers who gave their lives to save others, and so many who showed their courage on that terrible day,” she wrote:

In addition to commemorating the victims and heroes, Haley emphasized it is the responsibility of those who lived through the horrors of September 11, 2001, to “remind” younger Americans of the real threat of evil. She also highlighted the unity among Americans in the aftermath of the attacks:

Today, we have a new generation of young Americans who did not live through the horrors of 9/11. It’s our job to remind them that real evil exists in this world. The strength of America will prevail when we remember we are not immune from countries that want to destroy us.

In spite of the horrors of 9/11, what followed was the best of the American spirit. Americans rallied and united. Men and women, including my husband Michael, enlisted to defend our freedom and defeat evil. We saw a strong and proud America that refused to cower.

Some say our nation is too divided and will never come together like it did in the days following 9/11. I refuse to believe that. The American spirit is alive and well—we just need to tap into that spirit and remember how even on our worst day we are blessed to live in America.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) commemorated the anniversary, writing, “22 years ago today, tragedy struck our nation and thousands of American lives were lost at the hands of evil terrorists”:

“Today, I remember the heroes of 9/11 and pray for their families,” he added. 

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), who was named U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey on September 10, 2001, called September 11 “one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.” 

“We can honor those we lost with our love and our deeds. The day before, I was named U.S. Attorney for NJ. My wife and brother were within blocks of Ground Zero. This day is personal to me on many levels,” Christie tweeted: 

“We must #NeverForget all the heroes who ran toward danger that day, not away from it. They were and are the best of us,” he added. 

Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) paid tribute to the victims and first responders on X as well, noting that “twenty-two years ago we were tested as a nation like never before”:

“We emerged stronger and even more committed to freedom, liberty, and living up to the best of America,” he wrote. “The patriots who tragically lost their lives, and the heroic first responders who ran into harm’s way, deserve nothing less. Today we honor and remember their sacrifice.”

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