Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the deadliest jihadist attacks in history, the United States today pays tribute with memorial prayers and official ceremonies to the nearly 3,000 dead of Al Qaeda terrorist attacks.
In two decades, the attacks of September 11, 2001, have gone down in US political history and collective memory, but the pain of the families of the victims and survivors is still alive.
US President Joe Biden will attend a memorial service for the 2,977 victims of the attacks (of which 2,753 in New York) at the impressive Manhattan Monument at Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center used to be before the collapse on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
A minute’s silence will be held at 08:46 local time (15:46 Greek time) today, the time when the first plane hijacked by 5 of the 19 jihadists who carried out the attacks crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
A minute’s silence will be held five more times and musical tributes will follow each other until 12:30 local time (19:30 Greek time) to mark the disaster of this fateful Tuesday morning twenty years ago: the collapse of the Twin Towers, the attack on the Pentagon near Washington and the crash of one of the planes in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
As has been the case every September 11, the names of nearly 3,000 dead will be read at the memorial in New York for three hours. Two huge vertical columns of light are already lit from the two reflecting pools that were made at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers.
In Times Square, in the heart of Manhattan, the financial lung of the first world power, where US victories are traditionally celebrated, gatherings and meditation ceremonies are also planned.
Biden: Unity is our greatest strength
In a video message last night, US President Joe Biden called for “unity, our greatest strength.”
Joe Biden called on the USA to unite, “our greatest strength,” in a videotaped message yesterday, on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th. It’s that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength,” the president said in a six-minute message from the White House.
20 years after September 11, 2001, we commemorate the 2,977 lives we lost and honor those who risked and gave their lives. As we saw in the days that followed, unity is our greatest strength. It’s what makes us who we are — and we can’t forget that. pic.twitter.com/WysK8m3LAb
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 10, 2021
Joe Biden and his spouse Jill traveled to three iconic sites on September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, where a jihadist-occupied plane crashed twenty years ago.
“Unity doesn’t mean we have to believe the same thing, but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation,” said the US president.