Thursday, December 2

The United States Mourns the Twentieth Anniversary of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks | September 11, 2001


The United States is mourning the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people and helped shape the 21st century.

Joe Biden is due to meet with the families of the victims this morning in three separate locations in what he hoped would be a rare moment of national unity. But anger over the recent failed withdrawal of the US president from Afghanistan lives on.

Two decades later, the images of September 11, 2001 are vividly etched in the memory of some (everyone can remember where they were), but now they represent a historic event for a new generation born after the atrocity.

In a crystal blue sky, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and smashed two of them into the World Trade Center, a symbol of America’s financial might in downtown Manhattan.

People around the world were killed in the initial explosions, jumping to their deaths or being pulverized by the collapse of the twin towers, a sight that horrified audiences on live television.

The hijackers collided with another plane at the Pentagon, the US Army headquarters near Washington, blasting a hole in its side. A fourth plane, possibly heading for the United States Capitol, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers fought heroically.

A total of 2,977 people died, 2,753 of them in what became known as “Ground Zero” in New York, a number of victims greater than the “Day of infamy” at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will attend solemn ceremonies at the three sites on Saturday to “honor and commemorate the lives lost,” the White House said. At the 9/11 memorial in New York at 8:30 a.m., they will be joined by former President Barack Obama, who oversaw the assassination of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Biden will travel to Shanksville on Saturday afternoon before visiting the Pentagon for a wreath ceremony. But he still faces congressional investigations into the chaotic departure of US forces from Kabul less than two weeks ago, which ended America’s longest war.

The Taliban are back in control of Afghanistan, just as they were on September 11, raising fears that the country will once again become a terrorist hub.

Former President George W Bush, who launched the retaliatory war in Afghanistan in 2001, will speak at a memorial service in Shanksville. At 10:03 am the names of the passengers and crew members, who all died, will be read.

Former President Donald Trump reportedly visit the 9/11 memorial on Saturday afternoon, after the ceremony is over and after Biden has left town.

The monument includes cascading water in the footsteps of the twin towers. At the solemn ceremony on Saturday, the names of each victim will be read aloud with a ringing of the bell, which will last about four hours.

There will be six moments of silence, marking the times each tower was hit and the times each fell, as well as the time the Pentagon was attacked and the time United 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

On Friday some services and remembrance events were held. At a ceremony at the state department in Washington, Antony Blinken, the secretary of state said: “September 11 was, to underestimate, one of the darkest days in our history, but from it also came these displays of deep humanity, compassion, strength and courage.

“Above all, it showed our remarkable resilience. It demonstrated our ability to uphold the pluralism that has long been one of our country’s greatest strengths, including by embracing our American Muslim brothers and sisters. It showed the risks that many are willing to take to save the lives of complete strangers. So today we remember all that and more. “


www.theguardian.com

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