America remembers 9/11 victims 20 years after the terror attacks
- September 11 dead honored on 20th anniversary of attacks.
- President Biden calls for unity on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.
- Memorials held in New York City and around the country.
On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Americans have come together to remember and honor nearly 2,977 victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Today’s somber ceremony at the September 11 Memorial in New York City began with a moment of silence at 8:46am (12:46 GMT), the exact time first of two hijacked passenger jets crashed into New York City’s World Trade Center.
Relatives of the victims then began to read aloud the names of 2,977 people who perished in the attacks, an annual ritual that lasts four hours.
“We love you and we miss you,” many of them said as somber violin music played at the official ceremony, attended by dignitaries including President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
At Ground Zero in New York City, 2,753 people, from all over the world, were killed in the initial explosions, jumped to their deaths, or simply vanished in the inferno of the collapsing towers.
At the Pentagon, an airliner tore a fiery hole in the side of the superpower’s military nerve center, killing 184 people in the plane and on the ground.
And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the third wave of hijackers crashed into a field after passengers fought back, sending United 93 down before reaching its intended target – likely the US Capitol building in Washington.
The remembrances have become an annual tradition, but Saturday takes on special significance, coming 20 years after the morning that many view as a turning point in US history.
In a painful reminder of those changes, only weeks ago US and allied forces completed a chaotic withdrawal from the war the US started in Afghanistan shortly after the attacks in retaliation – which became the longest war in US history.
Today’s memorials come as national discord is overshadowing any sense of closure amid anger about the messy Kabul evacuation, which included 13 US soldiers killed by a suicide bomber.