WASHINGTON – Most of the Democratic presidential candidates are putting their campaigns on hold for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, choosing to take part in memorial services or simply staying out of the public spotlight for the day.
The lone exception was Sen. Bob Graham (search) of Florida, who planned to address the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Thursday. The subject of his remarks: the war on terror two years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Sen. John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts planned to attend a memorial service in Boston Thursday, then help prepare meals at a veterans' homeless shelter.
"The families of 9/11 have asked that Sept. 11 be a day of national service," said Kerry aide Kelley Benander. "He's honoring that request."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (search) of Connecticut planned to attend a memorial with firefighters in Miami and attend a private campaign fund-raiser in the evening.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (search), Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri plan no public appearances, aides said.
"The governor feels that it's more appropriate not to be campaigning or doing anything perceived as political," said Dean spokeswoman Tricia Enright.
Gephardt will be in Iowa Thursday and plans some private meetings with staffers to talk about the campaign.
Aides to Carol Moseley Braun, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Al Sharpton said they were unsure what the candidates planned to do.