Hillary Clinton forced to leave 9/11 ceremony after becoming overheated
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both attended the National September 11 Memorial in New York City on Sunday, marking the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack.
The two nominees attended the event but did not give speeches in the rare joint appearance less than two months before election day and two weeks before the first presidential debate.
However, early into the ceremony, Clinton became overheated during the ceremony and was forced to leave early.
“Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen,” her campaign said in a statement. “During the ceremony, she felt overheated so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better.”
In a video posted to NBC’s Facebook page, Clinton left her daughter’s apartment and smiled and waved to the crowd that had gathered. When she was asked about how she was feeling, she said she was “great.” And when she was asked what happened, she addressed the crowd and said, “It’s a beautiful day in New York.”
A source who was with the candidate on Sunday tells PEOPLE, “She is fine now. She had been standing for a while in the heat. After she cooled off at Chelsea’s, she made a point to take a walk outside Chelsea’s apartment building to prove she was ok.”
Trump, who was a New York business mogul in 2001, greeted the crowds at the ceremony with a smile, stopping to pose for photographers with some of those gathered. During the ceremony, he stood and chatted with Rudy Giuliani, the Republican mayor who was in office during the attacks.
The former senator from New York, who was in office during the 9/11 attacks, arrived at Ground Zero to less fanfare. Clinton stood with New York mayor Bill de Blasio and near the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Many whose loved ones were among the 2,753 lives lost at Ground Zero on that day gathered at the site to remember their family and friends and lay flowers at their names on the memorial. A youth choir from Brooklyn sang the national anthem, and a moment of silence was held at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane hit the north tower.
Both Trump and Clinton agreed to refrain from campaigning Sunday, upholding a practice observed by previous presidential candidates on the somber date.
Clinton, a junior senator at the time, was in Washington, D.C., during the attacks. She visited Ground Zero on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the attacks, with then-N.Y.C. Mayor Rudy Giuliani. First responder Richard Alles recalls the moment a stunned Clinton proclaimed at Ground Zero, “This attack on New York is an attack on America, it’s an attack on every American.”
Clinton made frequent trips to Ground Zero in the months following 9/11. Photos and tapes from that time capture her outrage and anguish over both the attacks and the U.S. government’s response to them.
Details on Trump’s 9/11 response are less certain. According to The Washington Post, Newsday reported in its Sept. 14, 2001 paper that Trump visited Ground Zero on Sept. 13, two days after the attacks.
That same day, Trump was interviewed on the outskirts of the site by a German television station. Telling the reporter he had just visited Ground Zero, Trump said, “I’ve never seen anything like it – the devastation, the human life that’s been just wasted for no reason whatsoever. It is a terrible scene. It’s a terrible sight. But New Yorkers are very strong and resilient, and they’ll rebuild quickly.”
Reporting by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall