On Saturday, US President Joe Biden commemorated the September 11, 2001 attacks, by visiting the site of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City.
The anniversary was attended by Biden’s wife, Jill, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as senior officials.
The memorial service was held at Ground Zero, where the crowd observed a minute of silence at 8:46 am, exactly 20 years after the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Biden then travels to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field after passengers overpowered the hijackers, preventing them from colliding with another target.
In the end, the president will return to Washington to visit the Ministry of Defense, the symbol of American military strength, which was attacked by other planes used as missiles on this day, and Biden is not expected to deliver a speech at any of the three sites.
“Guardians of Democracy”
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during his speech at the Pentagon headquarters that “the American people have faced greater crises throughout history.”
He added, “We must remain the guardians of democracy,” and “we must preserve our values, and we must cooperate in order to protect our security.” He continued: “Today we remember those who gave their lives on this day, and we must relentlessly protect our principles.”
Austin expressed his great gratitude to “those who fought the war on terror in Afghanistan.”
For his part, said Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US Army, “On September 11, the terrorists tried to divide and intimidate us, but they failed.” He added: “Today we remember the victims of the September 11 attacks and have mercy on their souls,” and we will not forget all those “who sacrificed their lives in order to live our future.”
Biden faces many criticisms for managing the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and is struggling to contain the Corona pandemic, publicly during the events scheduled to commemorate the anniversary.
Harris: Unity is essential
US Vice President Kamala Harris joined former President George W. Bush for a memorial service for the victims of United Airlines Flight 93.
Later in the afternoon, her husband Harris will join President Biden and the first lady for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.
In her speech, Harris said, “In the days after September 11, 2001, we were reminded that unity is possible in America. We were reminded also that unity is essential in America. It is essential to our common prosperity, our national security, and our standing in the world.” “.
Bush: Amazing people
While former Republican President George W. Bush, whose tenure saw the 9/11 attacks, said: “In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient and united people. When it comes to America’s unity, those days seem far from ours.”
He added, “Malign forces are evident in our shared lives that turn every disagreement into an argument, every argument into a clash of cultures. Much of our politics have become an outspoken invitation to anger, fear and resentment. This leaves us worrying about our nation and our future together.”
“I came without explanations or solutions,” Bush continued, “I can only tell you what I saw. On the day of misfortune in America, I saw millions of people instinctively holding the hands of their neighbors and gathering for the causes of others. This is the America that I know her.”
Obama: Confidence and Resilience
Former President Barack Obama said, “Today we honor the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who died on September 11, 2001, and the many who lost their lives serving our country in the next two decades.”
“We reaffirm our commitment to maintaining a sacred trust with their families, including children who have lost their parents, and who have shown an incredible amount of resilience. But this remembrance is also about reflecting on what we have learned in the 20 years since that awful morning.”
Clinton: We won’t forget
Former President Bill Clinton said, “America will never forget those who lost their lives, those who risked or gave their lives to save others, and those whose lives were changed forever 20 years ago. It is our duty to all of them, to meet again with unity and hope, compassion and determination.”
James Risch: Big Fears
“Twenty years later, these acts of sheer evil are still hard to understand…I have always supported efforts to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan in a way that would preserve the integrity of the war,” said Senator James Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Americans, but I have grave concerns that President Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan will erase 20 years of hard-earned gains in the war on terror and put us at great risk once again.”
Trudeau: Committed to Afghans
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said: “As we reflect on the past 20 years, we remain committed to the Afghan people, and continue to promote and advocate for the protection of fundamental human rights in Afghanistan, particularly for women and girls.”
“We will also continue to support active members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the many public servants who served in Afghanistan. We remember those who lost their lives defending peace, freedom and democracy,” he added.
Elizabeth: Our hearts are with the victims
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with my family and the entire nation with the victims, survivors and affected families, as well as first responders and rescue workers called to duty… We also honor those of many nations, beliefs and backgrounds who have lost their lives,” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth said in a letter to President Biden. We also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities that have come together to rebuild.”
Trump: Sad day!
For his part, former US President Donald Trump gave a video speech to the Americans on this occasion, in which he said, “It is a very sad day… and it represents a chapter in the deep sorrows of our country.”
The former president spoke about the withdrawal from Afghanistan through the Jeter platform launched by his team after banning his accounts on the communication sites, saying that it is “a sad time, related to the way our war against those who caused damage to our country ended last week, and the fall of 13 great warriors (in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport). ), and a lot of people were injured, that should never have happened.”
“There is $85 billion worth of advanced military equipment stolen from us without a single shot being fired” in Afghanistan, Trump added, and “the leader of our country (Joe Biden) they made look like an idiot.”
The former Republican president emphasized that “this should never have been allowed, because of poor planning, extreme weakness, and leaders who do not really realize what was happening,” and concluded, “This is the 20th year of the war, and it should have been a year of honor, victory and strength.”