President Joe Biden commemorated the 9/11 anniversary. 9/11 attacks on the United States on Saturday with visits to each of the sites where hijacked planes crashed in 2001, honoring the victims of the devastating assault.
In the first of his wordless tributes, Biden stood in somber silence with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at the New York City site where planes brought down the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
The three leaders, flanked by Jill Biden, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, shared a moment of silence with the crowd at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time that the first plane hit. Heads bowed, they listened as relatives read the names of those who died.
“We honour all those who risked and gave their lives in the minutes, hours, months and years afterwards,” Mr Biden added, speaking of the emergency workers who responded to the attacks.
Commemoration events are due to take place on Saturday.
Joe Biden will begin with a ceremony at 08:30 (12:30 GMT) in New York at the site where the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers once stood.
He is not expected to deliver any speeches, but in his address on Friday, he said: “No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago.”
“We learned that unity is the one thing that must never break,” he added.
“My thoughts and prayers, and those of my family and the entire nation, remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty,” the Queen said.
what happened on 9/11 ?
On Tuesday 11 September 2001 suicide attackers seized US passenger jets and crashed them into two New York skyscrapers, killing thousands of people.
The attack remains one of the most traumatic events of the century, not only for Americans but also for the world.
Four planes flying over the eastern US were seized simultaneously by small teams of hijackers.
The buildings were set on fire, trapping people on the upper floors, and wreathing the city in smoke. In less than two hours, both 110-storey towers collapsed in massive clouds of dust.
At 09:37 the third plane destroyed the western face of the Pentagon – the giant headquarters of the US military just outside the nation’s capital, Washington DC.
The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 after passengers fought back. It is thought the hijackers had meant to attack the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
Two planes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
The first hit the North Tower at 08:46 Eastern Time (12:46 GMT). The second crashed into the South Tower at 09:03.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE DIED IN ATTACK ?
In all, 2,977 people (not counting the 19 hijackers) lost their lives, most of them in New York.
- All 246 passengers and crew aboard the four planes were killed
- At the Twin Towers, 2,606 people died – then or later of injuries
- At the Pentagon, 125 people were killed
When the first plane struck, an estimated 17,400 people were in the towers. Nobody survived above the impact zone in the North Tower, but 18 managed to escape from the floors above the impact zone in the South Tower.
Citizens of 77 different countries were among the casualties. New York City lost 441 first responders.
Thousands of people were injured or later developed illnesses connected to the attacks, including firefighters who had worked in toxic debris.
The youngest victim was two-year-old Christine Lee Hanson, who died on one of the planes with her parents Peter and Sue.
The oldest was 82-year-old Robert Norton, who was on another plane with his wife Jacqueline, en route to a wedding.
LEGACY OF 9/11
Flight safety was tightened around the world in the years following 9/11.
In the US, the Transportation Security Administration was created to beef up security at airports and on planes.
The completed centrepiece – One World Trade Center, or “Freedom Tower” – stands even higher (1,776ft (541m) than the original North Tower, which was 1,368ft.
Reconstruction at the Pentagon took just under a year, with staff back in their offices by August 2002.
It took more than eight months to clean up “Ground Zero” – the site of the fallen Twin Towers.
A memorial and a museum now stands on the site, and buildings have risen up again, to a different design.
HOW US RESPONDED ?
Less than a month after the attacks, President George W Bush led an invasion of Afghanistan – supported by an international coalition – to eradicate al-Qaeda and hunt down Bin Laden.
However, it was not until 2011 that US troops finally located and killed Bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan.
Al-Qaeda still exists. It is strongest in Sub-Saharan Africa but even now has members inside Afghanistan.
US troops left Afghanistan this year after nearly 20 years, stoking fears from many that the Islamist network could make a comeback.
The alleged planner of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. He has been held in US custody at Guantanamo Bay since then, and is still awaiting trial.