Twenty years after the hijacking crashed at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, people in the United States have gathered to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001.
Saturday’s ceremony on Memorial Day 11 in New York City quietly began at 8:46 am (12:46 GMT), the exact time when the first two planes boarded the World Trade Center.
The relatives then began to read aloud the names of 2,977 persons, a four-hour annual ceremony.
“We love you and miss you,” many of them said, violin music played at a formal, elaborate and dignified ceremony including President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The mourners picked up pictures of their loved ones, while singer Bruce Springsteen sang his song See You In My Dreams. In the evening, the twin light will shine in the sky.
“As we move 20 years forward, I still find the gratitude of all who have risen to be more than just ordinary people,” said Mike Low, whose daughter was a flight attendant.
The commemorations have become an annual event, but Saturday becomes even more important, coming 20 years from the morning many people see as a turning point in US history.
A bitter reminder of the changes, a few weeks ago the US and allied organizations withdrew from the US-led war in Afghanistan shortly after an attack that was the longest running in U.S. history.
The U.S. military overthrew the Taliban, which has ruled Afghanistan since 1996, because the group dedicated a sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, an al-Qaeda leader, who staged the protests on 9/11. Bin Laden was hunted down and killed in Pakistan ten years later.
The Taliban have returned to Afghanistan, while Guantanamo Bay has accused 9/11 members of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men still awaiting trial, nine years after the charges were dropped.
At Ground Zero, 2,753 people, from all over the world, were killed in the first explosion, jumped to their death, or were simply lost in a collapsed tower.
In the Pentagon, a pilot slammed a hole in the ground, killing 184 people on the plane and on the ground.
And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a second robbery crashed into a field when the pilots returned, sending United 93 before achieving its goal – probably the US Capitol building in Washington.
The commemoration comes as national conflicts cover up any hostility to the outbreak of violence against civilians who left Kabul, who included 13 U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing, and who were bitten and realized defeat and defeat.
Biden on Saturday visited Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville – the second of its three venues on Sept. 11.
He placed a wreath at the Memorial Plaza, the home of the Name Wall, where the names of the passengers and passengers were written on the boards. The president and first lady Jill Biden then accompanied the relatives of the victims to a grassy field where the plane took off.
In a video posted at the end of the commemoration day, Biden urged Americans to show solidarity, “our greatest strength”.
“For me, that is the lesson of September 11. That is our threat, by clinging to and pulling all that makes us human, in the fight against American life, unity and our greatest strength,” Biden said in a six-minute message from White House.
Around the world
Although major events were taking place in and around New York City, people across the country organized events to commemorate the dead and educate the public, including firefighters outside New York in memory of 343 firefighters who lost their lives.
At the Pentagon, the capital of the US department of Defense, the US flag was to release the western part where the plane crashed into the building at 9:37 am EDT (13:37 GMT) on September 11, 2001.
Later, the department will hold a ceremony to honor 184 victims.
In Shanksville in southwestern Pennsylvania, family and guests will gather at the National Memorial there to pay their respects to the 40 victims of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash.
In Houston, people will gather Saturday for the “9/11 Heroes Run”. At a U.S. Marine Corps training facility outside Chicago, 2,977 flags have been hoisted in the field to honor anyone who has been killed in violence over the past 20 years.