America was looking back at the worse terrorist attack on our soil twenty years ago as tributes to the fallen of the September 11th attacks took place across the country on Saturday. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden began the day in New York, attending a memorial event at Ground Zero Saturday morning along with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, former first lady Michelle Obama, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The Bidens then traveled next to the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Vice President Kamala Harris and former President George W. Bush each delivered remarks and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony there before visiting the local fire department. President Biden later participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon, but he did not deliver official remarks at any of the events out of respect for the families still grieving the loss of their loved ones.
“These memorials are really important,” Biden said at a stop at the local fire department in Shanksville. “But they’re also incredibly difficult for the people affected by them because it brings back the moment they got the phone call, it brings back the instant they got the news, no matter how years go by.”
I’m seeing lots of posts of the actual attack on #September11. Especially if you were here that day & lost loved ones, it’s really triggering to see it even 20 years later. That’s not how I want to remember the World Trade Center. Instead, I prefer remembering it this way. 1/ pic.twitter.com/JU2Yp2BVdC
— Sari Beth Rosenberg (@saribethrose) September 11, 2021
Marking the milestone anniversary, his first as President, just weeks after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan nearly two decades after the U.S. first knocked them from power in the wake of the September 11th attacks, President Biden praised Bush’s remarks about the nation’s response to 9/11 as “a genuinely good speech about who we are.”
20 years ago today we experienced an attack on the World Trade Center that could be seen from space. Thinking of the families of those we lost today. #NeverForget #NeverForget911 pic.twitter.com/Npdx8XejKq
— Kate 🤍🇺🇸 (@ImSpeaking13) September 11, 2021
On Friday, President Biden signed an executive order granting a request to release documents that may show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the September 11th attacks. The President has directed the documents to be released over the next six months, barring a clear national security justification for keeping them classified.
Twenty years ago, nearly 3,000 lives were cut short by an unspeakable act of cowardice and hatred on 9/11. As a nation, we must never forget those we lost during one of the darkest moments in our history and the enduring pain of their families and loved ones.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 11, 2021
Also Friday, President Biden again pointed to the pain of the loss suffered that day. “To the families of the 2,977 people from more than 90 nations killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City; Arlington, Virginia; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the thousands more who were injured, America will commemorate you and your loved ones,” he said in a prerecorded video released by the White House.
We honor those lives lost on Flight 93 on that dark day in history 20 years ago. No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back for their loved ones.
Your courage gives us courage. pic.twitter.com/MzXiTba13t
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 11, 2021
“It’s so hard, whether it’s the first year or the 20th,” said Biden. “No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago.”