The United States on Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
President Joe Biden is due to deliver an address to members of the military, first responders and their families at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska. Biden’s Alaska stop comes as he travels home from an overseas trip that included the G20 summit in India and meeting with leaders in Vietnam.
While Monday will be the rare September 11 anniversary without a president appearing at observances at crash sites in New York, Pennsylvania or the Pentagon, it is not without precedent.
President George W. Bush in 2005 held an observance on the White House lawn, while President Barack Obama in 2015 participated in a moment of silence at the White House before attending an event honoring the work of the military at nearby Fort Meade.
Vice President Kamala Harris attended a ceremony Monday at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. Al-Qaida terrorists hijacked two commercial jets and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, causing both buildings to collapse.
The Bell of Hope rang out at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York on Monday to mark the moment at 08:46 a.m. local time when the first of two planes hit the World Trade Center’s twin towers on September 11, 2001.
Monday, as in past years, relatives and loved ones read aloud the names of 2,977 victims to the thousands who had gathered on the warm, cloudy morning.
First lady Jill Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley all participated in a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, just outside Washington, D.C.
The ceremony began with a bell ringing as the names were read of each of the 184 people who died after terrorists crashed a hijacked plane into the building – 59 who were on the plane and 125 people in the building. The Pentagon serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department.
Monday, a U.S. flag was draped over the area where the plane hit the building at 9:37 a.m. local time 22 years ago, just as it did in the days after the attack.
In his remarks, Austin said remembering the attacks each year is difficult, and as the years go by, it might feel as if the world is moving on. But he assured the families and loved ones of the victims that the department of defense will always remember.
Vice President Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, was in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to lay a wreath at a memorial where another hijacked plane, United Flight 93, crashed into a field after passengers fought their attackers. The names of those victims were also read, as a bell rang in remembrance of each.
September 11 is a federally recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance in the United States, aiming to transform a day of tragedy into a day of doing good to honor the memories of victims and those who responded to the terror attacks.