The United States honored, on Sunday 11 September, the memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the worst attacks ever known to the country, 21 years earlier.
In New York, crowds gathered near the imposing Manhattan Memorial Museum remained silent several times for minutes of silence, marking the exact moments when the four planes hijacked by Islamic commandos crashed and when the two towers of the World Trade Centers collapsed in a deluge of steel and dust. In the audience, Vice President Kamala Harris listened to the long list of names of the victims.
“The pain fades a little over time, but my father’s permanent absence is still there”, said the son of Jon Leslie Albert, one of the victims of the attacks, after reading his father’s name. This was stated by the relative of another victim, asking the political figures present to heal the deep divisions of America“We shouldn’t need another tragedy to unite our nation”.
Joe Biden at the Pentagon
On 11 September 2001, 2,977 people died in the deadliest attacks in history, committed by the jihadist organization Al-Qaeda. Two planes hit the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, a third ripped through the Pentagon, and a fourth, which appeared to be aimed at the Capitol or the White House, crashed in a wooded area in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the Passenger Rebellion. No one aboard the four aircraft survived.
In Washington, Joe Biden met at the Pentagon. With a solemn appearance, a hand on his heart, he attended a ceremony where a wreath was placed near this building where one of the hijacked planes had crashed, killing 184 people. “I know that for someone who has lost someone, twenty-one years is both an eternity and so little time”the Democrat said from the podium in a light rain.
Joe Biden read a message sent on September 11, 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday, to the American people. “Pain is the price to pay for love”had written the sovereign.
“The course of American history changed that day”, resumed the president. But what hasn’t changed is “The character of this nation”, “sacrifices, love, generosity” of which the United States is capable, he hammered. “Today is not about the past, but about the future”Joe Biden continued, calling on Americans to defend democracy, the guarantee of freedom that the terrorists had wanted “bury under fire, smoke and ashes”.
Jill Biden, first lady of the United States, attended a ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Sept. 11 “Reminds us that with courage and kindness we can be a light in this darkness”she said, adding that the initiatives of the passengers on Flight 93 had saved many lives, including possibly that of her husband, then a US senator, who was en route to the Capitol that day.
In many professional sports fields across the country, tributes have also been paid for this symbolic date, most notably by teams in New York City.
Foreign officials also paid tribute to the victims of this attack that affected the whole world.
“As we remember 9/11 and the innocent lives lost, we also remember the solidarity that held us together during those dark hours”tweeted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Beyond the terrible toll of thousands of deaths and injuries, thousands of people had died in the following years from diseases caused by the toxic fumes of the collapse of the Twin Towers.