Joe Biden visited the Pentagon to attend a wreath laying ceremony with First Lady Jill Biden. The president spent the majority of Saturday attending memorials, first at Ground Zero in New York, then at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and finally at the Pentagon in Washington DC.
Mr Biden praised former President George W Bush’s speech during an unannounced stop at a Shanksville, Pennsylvania fire department. Mr Biden commended Mr Bush for encouraging American unity, calling it “a genuinely good speech, about who we are, we’re not.” He went on to say that “he core of who we are is not divided, it’s just this notion of, I don’t know how to explain it.”
Former President Donald Trump did not visit Ground Zero Saturday to attend the 20th anniversary ceremony commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks. He did release a video earlier in the day attacking Joe Biden for the Afghanistan troop withdrawal, and later visited an NYPD precinct where he visited with police officers. During his visit to the police precinct he hinted that he would run for president again in 2024.
Vice President Kamala Harris and former President George W Bush addressed families at the United Airlines Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a memorial recognises passengers who brought down the plane after learning two others had been used to attack the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September, 2001.
An earlier ceremony at the site of the World Trade Center collapse in New York City recognised the victims who were killed, as the names of the nearly 3,000 victims were read aloud over several hours. Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also attended the ceremony.
NYU students captured the second plane’s impact before fleeing their own building
Video footage shot by New York University students on 9/11 captured the second plane hitting the World Trade Centre, which prompted the shocked students to flee from their building.
The Independent’s Nathan Place revisits the video and the reaction of the students as they realize they have witnessed a terror attack.
‘It looked like an airplane crashed into the building!’ NYU student shouts in disturbing footage of the attack on the World Trade Center
Biden calls for unity as US marks 20 years since 9/11 attacks
Joe Biden has appealed for Americans to reclaim the spirit of co-operation that sprang up in the days following the 9/11 terror attacks.
The US president is due to pay his respects at the three sites where hijacked planes crashed – in New York City and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.
However, he will leave speech-making to others, the White House said.
Instead his team released a pre-recorded TV address late on Friday in which Mr Biden spoke of the "true sense of national unity" that emerged after the attacks, seen in "heroism everywhere – in places expected and unexpected".
"To me that's the central lesson of 11 September," he said, adding: "Unity is our greatest strength."
Mr Biden also offered his condolences to families mourning loved ones two decades on.
He said: "It's so hard. Whether it's the first year or the 20th, children have grown up without parents and parents have suffered without children.
"No matter how much time has passed, and these commemorations bring everything painfully back, as if you just got the news a few seconds ago. And so on this day, Jill and I hold you close in our hearts and send you our love."
Additional reporting by agencies
Watch Biden’s ‘unity’ address
‘It’s still resonating’: 9/11 families and survivors on the last 20 unimaginable years
One of our many commemorative features marking 20 years since the 9/11 attacks
In the months immediately after 9/11, Wendy Lanski was a woman submerged, writes Josh Marcus.
Physically, she’d managed to make it out of the north tower of the World Trade Centre shortly before it collapsed, running until she reached a rescue boat at the water’s edge. Mentally, she never left the building.
How can you forget watching people jump to their deaths, then rewatching them on the news and in your head?
For those who lived through it, 9/11 remains an event too great for closure, writes Josh Marcus
Queen marks 9/11 anniversary with message to US
The Queen has marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks with a message to the president of the United States.
Her message said: "As we mark the 20th anniversary of the terrible attacks on 11 September 2001, my thoughts and prayers – and those of my family and the entire nation – remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty.
"My visit to the site of the World Trade Centre in 2010 is held fast in my memory. It reminds me that as we honour those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild."
Opinion: 9/11 created a paradox from which we have still escaped
In one especially grim regard, no country has paid a higher price for the appalling events of 9/11 than the United Kingdom. Sixty-seven British people were killed that day, in what remains the single worst terrorist attack on British life, writes Tom Peck.
In the wars that were subsequently fought in their honour, almost 10 times that number of British military personnel have been killed – 455 in Afghanistan and 179 in Iraq.
America, unsurprisingly, has more horrifying numbers but they are in less shocking proportion. 2,605 Americans were murdered on 9/11, compared to an estimated 7,000 members of the US military who have been killed prosecuting the “war on terror”, which nominally came to an end in humiliating and violent fashion a fortnight ago.
That the ‘war on terror’ came to a nominal end with a terror attack and a cargo load of American coffins reveals again that we are stuck in a situation about which no one has a clue what to do, writes Tom Peck
Book extract: I escaped the 80th floor of the North Tower – then it collapsed on me
You know what happened.
Twenty years ago, on what began as a splendid Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, at 8.46:30am, an American Airlines Boeing 767 passenger jet, Flight 11, travelling from Boston to San Francisco at 500mph, weighing about 12 tonnes, carrying about 24,000 gallons of fuel with 93 people on board, some of whose throats had already been slit by the suicide-terrorists, was hijacked and plunged into the 93rd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, like a gigantic hurtling meteor from outer space.
It practically tore through the entire width of the building, straight across, from one side to the other. I was on the 80th floor, where I worked for Beast Financial Systems, writes Sharon Premoli.
In an extract from her memoir ‘Complicity, The United States v. The People of the United States’, Sharon Premoli shares her memory of the day the World Trade Center was attacked
Boris Johnson says 9/11 commemorations demonstrate 'failure of terrorism'
Opinion: By letting Saudi Arabia off the hook over 9/11, the US encouraged violent jihadism
Two decades after 9/11, the role of Saudi Arabia in the attack remains in dispute despite unrelenting efforts by the US and Saudi governments to neutralise it as a live political issue, writes Patrick Cockburn.
The Saudi Arabia embassy in Washington this week issued a statement detailing its anti-terrorist activities and ongoing hostility to Al-Qaeda.
This was briskly rejected by the lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims who said that, “what Saudi Arabia desperately does not want to discuss is the substantial and credible evidence of the complicity [in the attack] of their employees, agents and sponsored agents”.
A direct line connects 9/11 and the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, both of which are rooted in a 40 year old struggle
South Korea extends condolences to US on anniversary of 9/11
South Korea’s president has expressed his "deepest sympathies" to Joe Biden and the American people on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Moon Jae-in said in a message posted on Twitter and Facebook that the "shock of that day still remains as deep wounds in the hearts of so many" and that "no violence can win against peace and inclusiveness".
He said South Korea as "American's strong ally will continue to actively join your and the international community's efforts to combat terrorism".
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