“Here’s what happened,” the official said. “With that speech, the Pentagon’s guidance was very clear. This was a commemoration of the dead and the day. It’s the first time we’ve ever had survivors, victims’ families and first responders all at the same event, and we don’t want anything political, any war talk. It should be solely a commemorative event.
“We initially proposed putting some language about Afghanistan in there. We’re fighting there. We have to kill these guys. Stuff like that that advances the overall agenda.
“The Pentagon was really opposed to that, in a friendly way. ‘Look, we want to keep the spirit of this event to purely commemorate. Would you please work with us and not do this? There are other times and places where you can do it.’ And we said, ‘OK.’”