The nonprofit organization 9/11 Day, a federally recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance, ripped President Donald Trump airing campaign ads on 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.
The campaign for former Vice President Joe Biden took its television ads off the air for the day. In August, 9/11 Day requested that Biden and Trump suspend their campaigns.
In 2004, the 9/11 Campaign Moratorium was established and was honored by major party U.S. presidential candidates, along with federal, state, and local candidates. That included 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.
On Friday, both Biden and Trump visited Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site of the Flight 93 National Memorial. Biden also visited 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 lost her husband in New York on 9/11. She, along with many other family members of victims, signed the letters to each candidate's campaigns.
"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.
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