A photo captured the two bumping elbows and greeting one another in a rare face-to-face meeting. They both arrived in Manhattan at the World Trade Center memorial site on Friday to mark the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead and toppled the Twin Towers. The two appeared to speak to one another, but it’s not clear what they said, according to video footage of the encounter.
Aside from Pence and Biden, former three-term New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were in attendance.
Biden is scheduled to visit the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, later in the day. President Donald Trump visited the Pennsylvania memorial on Friday morning. Hijacked Flight 93 crashed into a field, killing everyone on board. Trump and Biden are not scheduled to meet.
Biden told reporters Friday that he won’t talk about politics on the day.
“I’m not gonna make any news today. I’m not gonna talk about anything other than 9/11,” he told reporters. “We took all our advertising down, it’s a solemn day, and that’s how we’re going to keep it, OK?”
The Pence-Biden meeting is a rare show of respect in what has been a contentious election season. Pence, during last month’s Republican National Convention, described Biden as a “Trojan Horse” for radical leftist officials to enter the White House if he is elected. Meanwhile, the majority of Biden’s criticism has been focused on Trump, alleging that he lied to the American people during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
At around the same time, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, before stepping off their plane, observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane hit the World Trade Center 19 years prior.
The 2,200-acre Flight 93 National Memorial marks the spot in rural Pennsylvania where the hijacked flight crashed, killing all 40 people on board. Three other planes hijacked that day were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. At least 2,977 people died in the attacks, and it sparked the War on Terror that led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq under the Bush administration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.