Obama, Romney Mark 9/11 Anniversary With Somber Statements, No Negative Ads

Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

David Peters displays a jacket with a painting of the Twin Towers outside of the World Trade Center site on the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2012 in New York City.

To mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mitt Romney stopped on the tarmac of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to greet about 20 firefighters and emergency workers.

On hand to provide security for Romney, the first responders took part in a 60-second moment of silence at 7:47 Chicago time in remembrance of the moment the first plane hit one of the World Trade Center towers.

Romney released a statement saying the country will never forget those who perished: “On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world.”

The assembled group, flanked by six fire trucks and emergency vehicles, were lined up waiting for Romney as he arrived for his flight to Reno, Nevada, where he will address a conference of the National Guard Association of the United States.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama gathered on the South Lawn of the White House this morning for a moment of silence to observe the anniversary and pay tribute to the victims. Later at a memorial service at the Pentagon, the president said, “As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are, no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.”

To mark the day, both campaigns paused from their routines by temporarily pulling their negative ads from television.

Phil Mattingly contributed to this post

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