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In one mutual moment of peace, John McCain and Barack Obama mark 9/11

Since we're quick to chronicle the strife in our world of politics, we probably ought to also stop here this evening to note the peaceful pause that erupted today between the campaign camps of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

A welcome respite as both marked, with the nation, those decisively unpeaceful moments ofPresidential candidates Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama lay flowers at Ground Zero 9-11-08 9/11 that sure don't seem like seven whole years ago -- 84 whole months without another such awful surprise in the homeland.

McCain and Obama took a slow afternoon walk down a long ramp, descending side-by-side into the yawning pit that remains at ground zero, footprint of the felled Twin Towers in lower Manhattan.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and McCain's wife Cindy followed them into the pit, where the presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties met with the families of 9/11 victims and some of the first-responders who lost their comrades in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

One firefighter handed McCain his lapel pin.

The two candidates placed long-stemmed roses -- Obama's pink, McCain's yellow -- on the floral memorial at the center of the pit. And they paused there for silent prayer.

In their long walk back up the ramp, lined by the flags of nations that lost their sons and daughters on the day that 2,751 died there, McCain walked with his wife Cindy, with Obama and the New York mayor alongside them.

Earlier, McCain laid a wreath at the temporary memorial at the rural crash site of United 93 in Shanksville, Pa.

Michelle Obama, the Democratic nominee's wife, was busy back home in Chicago. Our colleague Mark Silva has some more details over here at the Swamp.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Peter Foley / Associated Press

 
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There is no valid excuse for Michelle Obama not to attend public functions/debates/forums with her husband who is running for POTUS. The reason we don't see Michelle Obama with her husband in public is because she is a liability. Michelle Obama's duty and responsibility is to be by her husband's side during this period. Her daughters could stay with her mother or brother back in Chicago.

May she didn't go for the same reason I don't like to go. Boot ceremonies, WTC site, and the AIDS quilt. Great loss, great grief, it is a total meltdown. If you love humanity.

Senator McCain showed up Senator Obama, plain and simple. First, Mrs. McCain thought it important enough to remember the victims of 9/11 to attend the ceremony with her husband. Obviously, Mrs. Obama did not. Guess she wasn't happy to be an American with the courage and heroism displayed on 9/11. Second, Senator McCain LOOKED presidential. He engaged people and appeared to be sincere in shaking their hands and speaking with them. Senator Obama looked like he would rather be somewhere else. He looked awkward and uncomfortable.

"There is no valid excuse for Michelle Obama not to attend public functions/debates/forums with her husband who is running for POTUS."

Uh, you're out of line. The Obamas have two little girls and it is the first week of school here in Chicago. A very important, and very stressful time for kids. Parents SHOULD be there for their kids during this time. Michelle is not running for President, or VP, so she has more leeway in balancing her time between the campaign and the family.

There's nothing wrong with a mother wanting to be with her children on 9/11.

Nice article. It's a sham it's incorrect, as McCain aired an negative attack ad on 9/11 and broke the truce. The people running his campaign don't know the meaning of the phrase "respect for the dead." They are too busy pretending to be religious to convince poor conservative americans to back them, when they offer nothing in the way of tax cuts or health benefits to them.

To those who think Michelle was too busy with her daughters for the first week of school to attend the 9/11 ceremony:

News reports say she was busy giving speeches in Ohio and Indiana on Sept 10, the day prior to the ceremony. I guess she was too tired (or unpatriotic) to show up at Ground Zero to pay her respects.

OOOPs the girls got to the Chicago LAB school - according to their web page September 8th (monday) was their 1st day of school!

http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/about/planningCalendar.pdf

Oh no... The first week of school in Chicago? She had to be home to take care of the little princesses, for one AFTERNOON. It's not a very long flight from Chicago to NYC, and there should be no reason she can't pay her respects if she truly is "proud to be an American".

Her not showing up, no matter if she had to take care of the kids or just didn't feel like it was important really shows how selfish she is...

If she can't show up that day, I don't want her any day.

If McCain (whom I don't care for), can show up on the MLK anniversary, in the pouring rain and get booed at the Lorraine Hotel where MLK was shot and Obama can't; If Obama stiffed the Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union, after being notified a year ahead and calling them the night before to cancel and go to Springfield; If McCain can go to the NAACP and talk to them about the need for vouchers, when Obama voted them down three times (don't worry, his kids go to private Lab school, doesn't affect him), yet when Obama goes to the NAACP he talks about black male responsibility when he laughs on a Planned Parenthood video re: the fellas being glad they're around, you can't have it both ways; For Obama to go to Selma and lie about how his mom and dad came together because of that march and he was born... do blacks not know their history? He was born years before and no one said a word. We know how his wife feels about this country, in that sense, I guess she was just being honest... ok. So I want someone who appreciates the opportunies this country offers and not bites the hand that fed them. Sometimes I wonder... why are either one of them here... from all the negative things about our country they've said. Yep, we've made through Ivy League, accomplished all this, but the country has to be changed, it's racist... you don't really see us up here, because you're downtrodden and cynical. Just like all the campaign millions coming from the oppressed little people, people need to wake up. Especially the media, when the media discovered they worked for Fidel, it was too late.
Kiss free speech goodbye, no criticism or other view after if he gets in. Pravda West.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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