United States marks 22nd anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks with solemn tributes
''The American story itself changed on this day 22 years ago. But what could not — and will not — change is the character of this nation," said President Joe Biden
American citizens and leaders across the US on Monday, 11 September paid tributes and honoured the memories of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the horrific September 11 terrorist attacks as the US commemorates 22 years of the tragedy.
The victims of the 9/11 terror attacks were honoured during a solemn ceremony at the site of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan, where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre once stood and which were razed to the ground when two airlines hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists crashed into the towers, forever altering the Manhattan skyline on 11 September 2001.
Bells chimed and a moment of silence was observed at the exact time when tragedy struck across the US 22 years ago - at 8:46 am, the exact moment when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, the first of the four attacks that occurred that morning. At 9:03 am United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower, at 9:37 am American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon near Washington DC, at 9:59 am the South Tower collapsed, 10:03 am United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and at 10:28 am the North Tower fell.
"Today, we remember the 2,977 precious lives stolen from us on 9/11 and reflect on all that was lost in the fire and ash that September morning. The American story itself changed on this day 22 years ago. But what could not — and will not — change is the character of this nation," President Joe Biden said in a post on platform X.
"September 11 is a day not only to remember, but a day of renewal and resolve for every American — in our devotion to this country, to the principles it embodies, to our democracy. That is what we owe one another. And what we owe future generations of Americans to come," he said in another post.
Vice President Kamala Harris said America will never forget the 2,977 lives lost 22 years ago today at Ground Zero, Shanksville, and the Pentagon.
"We remain indebted to the heroic first responders, and our hearts are with the family members and friends who lost loved ones," she said in a post on X.
At the memorial ceremony in New York, relatives and friends read out the names of all the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terror attacks, paying homage to them, signifying the message that the victims will never be forgotten.
India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, paying his tributes, said in a post on platform X "9/11 continues to remind us of the threat that terrorism poses to the world. India and the US are united in our resolve to fight against this menace #NeverForget #G20". His post was accompanied by a photograph of him paying tributes at the 9/11 Memorial site where the names of the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks are inscribed into the Memorial’s bronze parapets.
"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come to a close, but we remain relentlessly focused on combating terrorist threats to America," US Defence Secretary Austin Lloyd told a gathering of armed forces at the Pentagon 9/11 memorial ceremony.
He said the men and women of the Department of Defence "will always remember, and will always honour the memory of our fallen teammates, and we will always strive to be worthy of the memory of those we lost".
"September 11th reminds us that the American spirit still shines in times of testing. After the attacks, amid the horror and the grief, many Americans felt a deeper sense of duty to their communities and to their country, and all around the country with hearts breaking for the slain and the suffering, Americans looked within themselves and felt called to give back,” Austin said.
On 11 September 2001, terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 others in the worst attack against the homeland in our nation’s history, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. "Today we honour their memories and stand with the families and friends of those who perished in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” he said.
"The memory of those who perished on 9/11 reminds us of why we must continue to fight against those who commit acts of terrorism. In the years since, we have stood side by side with partners from around the world to end the scourge of terrorism and ensure terrorists are held accountable for their crimes. The United States will continue to defend our homeland, our people, and our allies,” Blinken said.