Nonprofit 9/11 Day bashes Trump for airing political ads on Sept. 11 anniversary

9/11 Day, the nonprofit that established the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as a federally recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance, criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE on Friday for not suspending his campaign for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Sadly, our organization and members of the 9/11 community learned today that President Donald Trump’s campaign organization chose to violate this solemn tradition. Rather than suspending political activities for the day, the President’s campaign ran as many as 1,000 campaign ads throughout the day and throughout the nation, according to media reports,” the organization said in a statement.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE’s campaign pulled its television ads off the air for the day. 9/11 Day in August called on both candidates to suspend their campaigns.


When asked about running ads on Friday, the Trump campaign told The Hill “people are voting today and our ad is patriotic, describing the Great American Comeback.”

Some Biden ads still ran on the anniversary. His campaign said it was "inadvertent."

"Our clear intentions are to suspend advertising today," a campaign official said Friday. "This was an inadvertent airing and we are reaching out to the affiliate stations for an explanation and to remedy."

The 9/11 Campaign Moratorium was established in 2004 and has been supported by all major party U.S. presidential candidates and federal, state and local level candidates since then, including Trump in 2016. 

“On the 9/11 anniversary each year, countless members of the 9/11 community hope to be able to mourn and pay tribute to their lost loved ones in peace, without the backdrop of yet more political division,” the nonprofit said.


Both Biden and Trump traveled to Shanksville, Pa., on Friday, which is the site of the Flight 93 National Memorial. Biden also traveled to New York City.

“We understand that the upcoming election is important. But the anniversary of 9/11 is not a day for campaigning and divisiveness, and must never be. For so many, it is a day of reflection, prayer, service, and national unity,” the nonprofit said. “We expect and ask all of our leaders to set that example.”

It added, “Is it really too much to ask of our leaders that they take just a moment to honor those lost by putting politics aside for just one day? We think not. Otherwise the words, ‘Never Forget’ will stand for nothing.”

Cindy McGinty, who lost her husband in New York on 9/11, signed the letters to the campaigns along with many other family members of victims.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It does take away from the solemnness of the day. It's been 19 years and every other presidential candidate has suspended campaigning and it’s another sign of the lack of empathy on their part,” McGinty told The Hill.


Trump and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them MORE both pledged to halt television ads for the Sept. 11 anniversary in 2016, Politico reported at the time. 

In 2012, NPR reported that President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Trump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed MORE pulled their campaign ads, and in 2008, Reuters reported that Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden nominates Cindy McCain as ambassador to UN food agency Meghan McCain defends 'maverick' Sinema from attacks over filibuster stance GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster MORE did so as well.

Updated on Sept. 12 at 10:21 a.m.