On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, America honors the memory of those who were lost: ‘We remember’

Written by on September 11, 2021

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NEW YORK — For the 20th time, America is pausing to learn the names of and keep in mind the almost 3,000 individuals killed within the Sept. 11 assaults that shocked and perpetually modified the nation.

In New York Metropolis, on the Pentagon and outdoors Shanksville, Pennsylvania, ceremonies to recollect the assaults that occurred there 20 years in the past are being held Saturday, and President Joe Biden plans to go to every website.

“I feel it’s acceptable that we keep in mind, we keep in mind the people who we misplaced, we keep in mind the households,” mentioned Barbara Lee, who was working on the Pentagon the day of the assault. 

She was one of many survivors attending a non-public ceremony Saturday morning on the Pentagon.

“It’s simply type of unhappy day.”

On the 9/11 Memorial in New York Metropolis, a solemn crowd of lots of gathered as a bell tolled and a second of silence was held at 8:46 a.m., the second the north tower of the World Commerce Heart was hit 20 years in the past. Three extra moments of silence have been acknowledged all through the course of the morning: for when the south tower was hit, and for once they each collapsed. 

Lindsay Miller has been coming to the ceremonies in New York so long as she will keep in mind to help her mom, Michele, who misplaced her brother within the assault. 

Miller was Three years previous when her uncle, Mitchel Scott Wallace, a courtroom officer, was killed within the World Commerce Heart as he tried to rescue trapped victims. As a faculty instructor, she mentioned she now grapples with how college students study concerning the trauma of the day. 

“I don’t know the way you first find out about it,” she mentioned. “It’s one thing you all the time knew.”

As the nation strikes one other 12 months farther from the assaults,there is a rising deal with educating a youthful technology with no reminiscence of that day.

“The nation faces a transformative second with consciousness of 9/11 transitioning from reminiscence to historical past,” mentioned Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the Nationwide September 11 Memorial and Museum.

In the meantime, the anniversary comes amid the US’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, a conflict began in response to the assaults and one which has left many 9/11 households and survivors, veterans and People with blended feelings.

USA TODAY Community reporters and photographers are protecting the ceremonies in New York Metropolis, Shanksville and on the Pentagon. Refresh this web page for the newest updates.

Bush, Harris converse at Shanksville ceremony: ‘We stand with you’

At a non-public ceremony for household of these killed after United Airways Flight 93 crashed right into a subject outdoors Shanksville, Pennsylvania, former President George W. Bush spoke about the concern within the days after the assault in addition to the braveness. 

“At this time, we keep in mind your loss, share your sorrow, and we honor the boys and ladies that you’ve cherished so lengthy and so effectively,” Bush mentioned. 

Bush, who was in workplace throughout the assaults, additionally praised the response of People within the days that adopted. “We realized that bravery is extra frequent than we imagined.”

Saturday’s ceremony on the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial included a studying of the names of every one that died, adopted by the tolls of the Bells of Remembrance. 

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke of the onerous occasions the households of these on Flight 93 have confronted, and the way they need to keep in mind their faces on each birthday and each time they tuck of their children. 

“You’ve gotten felt it day-after-day, each week and yearly that has handed, these 20 years,” she mentioned. “Please know your nation sees with you, and we stand with you.”

— Workers, The Each day American

Tons of collect for studying of names at 9/11 Memorial in NYC

A solemn crowd of lots of of first responders, households of victims and politicians lined the 9/11 Memorial in New York Metropolis to mark the 20th anniversary. Households held pictures of family members who died within the assault as flowers and flags have been positioned close to their names on the Memorial.

Among the many attendees have been former police detective Madeline Lawrence, 60. She mentioned she wasn’t shocked when she heard her coworker Sgt. Rodney C. Gillis bumped into the south tower on Sept. 11. 

“That was what Rodney would do,” she mentioned of Gillis, who died within the assault. Lawrence mentioned Gillis was aim oriented. He needed to assist others. He drove to the World Commerce Heart from the place he was stationed in Brooklyn and ran in on his personal. 

“He was our sergeant, and he seemed out for us,” she mentioned. “He appreciated the magnitude of these buildings.”

Gillis’ brother, Ronald, referred to as his brother a “character.” He might be humorous and he might be critical. However the hardest half for Ronald in shedding his brother is that his brother’s three youngsters don’t have their father. The previous 20 years have been a problem however Ronald Gillis, 56, mentioned he involves the ceremony to recollect his brother. 

“It’s 20 years with out my brother. It’s 20 years rehashing this,” he mentioned.

Roxanne Nedd, 57, misplaced her husband, who labored on the Home windows of the World restaurant within the World Commerce Heart. She needed to increase their two youngsters with out her husband and mentioned that they had numerous plans for all times collectively. Now, she tries to dwell the life they as soon as talked about.

“I miss him,” she mentioned. However, “you simply have to maneuver ahead together with your life. … We’ve got to dwell our greatest lives we are able to.”

Within the video under, the names of the almost 3,000 individuals who died within the assaults are being remembered.   

For Gen Z, Sept. 11 is historical past: Right here’s how they’ve come to know the assaults.

Bruce Springsteen performs music as bell tolls

Because the bell tolled recognizing the autumn of the second tower at New York Metropolis’s 9/11 Memorial, Bruce Springsteen carried out to an emotional crowd, with might individuals beginning to cry as he sang. 

“When all of the summers have come to an finish. I am going to see you in my desires,” he sang. “We’ll meet and dwell and love once more. I am going to see you in my desires.”

The music, “I am going to See You in My Desires,” is from his 2020 album, “Letter to You.” Springsteen beforehand launched “The Rising” in 2002 that articulated the nation’s concern, anger and sorrow following the 9/11 assaults.

The imagery of “rising” has a number of interpretations, together with a rising to heaven and the firefighters rising up up the stairwells of the World Commerce Heart on 9/11.

“Some of the highly effective photos of the 11th, that I’d learn within the paper, a few of the individuals coming down have been speaking concerning the emergency employees who have been ascending,” Springsteen mentioned on “Nightline” on the time of the album’s launch in June 2002. “The thought of these guys going up the steps, up the steps, ascending, ascending. I imply you may be ascending a smoky staircase, you may be within the afterlife, shifting on.”

Members of the family honor reminiscence of fallen family members at non-public Pentagon ceremony

Exterior the Pentagon early Saturday, company walked via an aisle lined with flags, trickling into rows of white chairs close to the place two fireplace vans from the Arlington County Hearth Division displayed a big American flag.

Close to the entrance, Richard Keller and his spouse honor the reminiscence of his son, Chandler Keller. Keller, 29 on the time of the assaults, died onboard the hijacked American Airways Flight 77 departing Dulles to Los Angeles. 

“We misplaced him on that day, and we have been again nearly yearly to recollect him,” Richard Keller mentioned. “We have had the blessing of an exquisite household and mates which have saved us complete all through all this.”

“We simply can’t imagine it’s been 20 years,” he added. “We’re tried onerous to maintain his reminiscence alive.”

Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin started his remarks by acknowledging the ache these in attendance bear “in strange moments of absence, in quiet minutes that may appear to stretch off for hours.” Austin mentioned, 20 years after the assaults, almost 1 / 4 of U.S. residents right this moment have been born after 9/11.

“Because the years march on, we should be sure that all our fellow People know and perceive what occurred right here on 9/11 … and in Manhattan … and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” he mentioned.

Byron Alexander, retired Deputy Chief of the Alexandra Hearth Division and a primary responder throughout the assault, additionally mentioned it is necessary to discuss the assaults to those that weren’t sufficiently old to recollect them.

“A lot of our recruits have been both infants or weren’t even born when 9/11 occurred, so they do not actually perceive,” he mentioned. “So it’s vital for us to proceed to assist them perceive the importance in what occurred that day.”

— Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY

How former presidents might be commemorating the anniversary 

In New York Metropolis, former Presidents Invoice Clinton and Barack Obama, in addition to former first girls Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, joined the Bidens within the ceremony on the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Biden, Obama and Clinton every wore blue ribbons and held their fingers over their hearts as a procession marched a flag via the memorial.

Biden launched a video deal with Friday, talking on the “heroism in all places — in locations anticipated and sudden” following 9/11.

“To me that’s the central lesson of September 11,” he mentioned. “Unity is our best energy.”

When Biden arrived in New York on Friday, twin beams of sunshine reached 4 miles into the sky for the “Tribute in Mild,” a haunting reminder of the place the towers as soon as stood.

Obama on Saturday paid tribute in an announcement to the almost 3,000 individuals who died on 9/11 and the “heroes who run in the direction of hazard in an effort to do what is correct.”

“Let’s always remember that day, and let’s by no means take them with no consideration,” he added.

In Shanksville, former President George W. Bush, who was commander in chief throughout the assaults, is delivering keynote remarks Saturday morning on the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial. He’ll then head to Dallas together with his spouse, Laura, for a screening of the documentary “9/11: Contained in the President’s Battle Room” on the George W. Bush Presidential Heart.

Workers for former President Donald Trump did not reply to a request for remark, nonetheless Trump is slated to present commentary Saturday night time throughout a boxing match between in Florida.

Trump launched a video assertion Saturday, praising the bravery of first responders and criticizing Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, a conflict began in response to the assaults and one which has left many 9/11 households and survivors, veterans and People with blended feelings.

“For the good individuals of our nation, it is a very unhappy day,” Trump mentioned. “Sept. 11 represents nice sorrow for our nation.”

America’s oldest residing former president will mark the anniversary in non-public. Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, just isn’t scheduled to look publicly on Saturday.

Comply with Breaking Information Reporter Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller. Contact Information Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or observe her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

Learn extra on the Sept. 11 assaults:

By the numbers: Details from a tragic day in American historical past

Did 9/11 completely change life within the US? Extra People say so than ever earlier than

The picture of a grieving 9/11 son was unforgettable. 20 years on, he recollects his mother’s sacrifice.

9/11 hijackers have been ‘hiding in plain sight’ earlier than the 2001 assaults. How did they do it?

Contributing: Chris Jordan, Asbury Park Press; Rick Rouan, USA TODAY; The Related Press

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