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9/11 anniversary memorial: will Trump go to tributes for World Trade Center attacks?

As the world remembers the events from 19 years ago, questions were asked over whether President Donald Trump and election rival Joe Biden would get involved.

9/11 anniversary memorial: will Trump go to tributes for World Trade Center attacks?
MICHAEL REYNOLDS / POOL EFE

11 September 2001. A date that will forever remain in the history of the United States of America. Four planes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists and their actions that followed killed almost 3,000 people.

Trump and Biden to remember victims of 9/11 attacks

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will commemorate the 19th anniversary on Friday of the 11 September attacks, with both candidates separately visiting the rural Pennsylvania field where one of the hijacked planes crashed.

Biden and his wife, Jill, will first attend a morning ceremony in lower Manhattan in New York, where al Qaeda hijackers flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center's twin towers. Republican Vice President Mike Pence will also be on hand for the ceremony.

Trump will speak at a morning ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a White House official said. The event, in remembrance of the 40 passengers and crew who died when the plane plunged into a field after they struggled with the hijackers, will be closed to the public because of coronavirus concerns, the National Park Service said.

Later in the day, the Bidens will visit the Shanksville site to pay their respects to the victims. The two candidates were not expected to cross paths in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that is vital to the 3 November election between Trump and Biden.

Remembering the brave souls from Flight 93

Flight 93, bound for San Francisco from Newark, New Jersey, never hit its intended target - the four hijackers were believed to be planning to crash it into either the US Capitol or the White House - after passengers stormed the cockpit and attempted to regain control of the aircraft.

In all, nearly 3,000 people died in the 11 Sept 2001, attacks, which also included a fourth hijacked plane that slammed into the Pentagon outside Washington.

The ceremonies marking the attacks are a regular stop for presidential candidates and officials. Trump visited Shanksville for the 9/11 anniversary in 2018, and has attended memorial ceremonies at the Pentagon. Biden went to memorials in Shanksville during his years as vice president under Barack Obama.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton both visited the Ground Zero memorial in New York on the anniversary of 9/11.

Biden's campaign said it was pulling its television ads off the air on Friday to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks. The nonprofit 9/11 Day had asked both campaigns to pull its ads. The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment on whether it would do so.