United States celebrates 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks, deadliest on American soil

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Americans solemnly celebrated the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001 on Saturday, commemorating the dead, calling on heroes and taking stock of the aftermath just weeks after the bloody end of the war in Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks.

The ceremony at Ground Zero in New York City began exactly two decades after the start of the deadliest terrorist act on American soil, the first of four hijacked planes crashing into one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

Former US President Barack Obama, left to right, Michelle Obama, US President Joe Biden, Jill Biden and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attend a ceremony on Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks , at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. (Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

“It was as if an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people were acting beyond the ordinary,” said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a hostess. air in this plane.

“As we continue these 20 years, I feed off a continuing appreciation for all who have become more than just ordinary people,” Low told a crowd including US President Joe Biden and former US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

The anniversary took place under the veil of a pandemic and in the shadow of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, now led by the same militants who gave refuge to the 9/11 plotters.

WATCH | Jean Chrétien on the after-seven. 11th:

“It was the start of a new era”: former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien reflects on September 11 and the war in Afghanistan

Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien joined Power & Politics on Friday to reflect on the 20th anniversary of September 11 and Canada’s role in the war in Afghanistan. 15:16

“It’s hard because you were hoping it would just be another time and another world. But sometimes history starts to repeat itself and not in the best possible way,” said Thea Trinidad, who lost her father. in the attacks, before reading the victims. ‘names at the ceremony.

Loss and inheritance

An image of a man who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks is kept in New York City on Saturday, as people visit the September 11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. (Mike Segar / Reuters)

Bruce Springsteen and Broadway actors Kelli O’Hara and Chris Jackson performed at the commemoration, but traditionally no politician spoke. In a video released Friday night, Biden addressed the lingering pain of loss, but also highlighted what he called the “central lesson” of 9/11: “That in our most vulnerable … unity is our. greater strength.

Biden was also due to pay homage to two other sites where the 9/11 conspirators crashed planes: the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Together, the attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.

At the Pennsylvania site – where passengers and crew fought to regain control of a plane that allegedly targeted the United States Capitol or the White House – former US President George W. Bush said that September 11 had shown that Americans could come together despite their differences.

“What we can be again”

“Much of our politics has become a naked appeal of anger, fear and resentment,” said Bush, who was in power on the day of the attacks. “On the day of America’s trial and mourning, I saw millions of people instinctively grab hold of their neighbor’s hand and rally together.”

Bush said that “this is the truest version of ourselves. This is what we have been and what we can be again.”

A New York firefighter stands at attention on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday. (Ed Jones / The Associated Press)

Calvin Wilson said that a polarized country had “missed the message” of the heroism of the passengers and crew on the flight, including his brother-in-law, LeRoy Homer.

“We are not focusing on the damage. We are not focusing on hate. We are not focusing on retaliation. We are not focusing on revenge,” Wilson said before the ceremony. “We are focused on the good that all of our loved ones have done.”

A person touches the name of a victim on the 9/11 memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York on Saturday. (Mike Segar / Reuters)

Former US President Donald Trump had planned to be in New York, in addition to commenting on a boxing match in Florida that evening.

The following

Pipers stand at attention Saturday during a ceremony in New York City to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. (John Minchillo / The Associated Press)

In the aftermath of the attacks, security was redefined, with changes to airport checkpoints, police practices and government oversight powers. For years after, virtually any large-scale explosion, accident or act of violence seemed to raise a terrible question: “Is this terrorism?”

Ideological violence and plots have followed, although federal officials and the public have recently become increasingly concerned about threats from domestic extremists after years of focusing on international terrorist groups.

WATCH | Canadians and the September 11 attacks:

Remembering the escape and the grief 20 years after 9/11

Twenty years later, CBC’s Ioanna Roumeliotis catches up with two Canadians affected by the September 11 attacks. Ron DiFrancesco, who was among the last to escape the Towers, and Kimmy Chedel, whose husband Frank Doyle was unlucky. 8:08

A post-seven. The “war on terror” led to invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where America’s longest war ended last month with a massive and rushed airlift punctuated by a suicide bombing blamed on an branch of the extremist group Islamic State.

The United States is now concerned that al-Qaeda, the terrorist network behind 9/11, could regroup in Afghanistan.

An American flag is flown at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, at sunrise Saturday, the morning of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. (Alex Brandon / The Associated Press)


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