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20 years later, America gathers to honor those killed on 9/11

Sept. 11, 2021
10 min read
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: A detail of the 9/11 Memorial is seen before a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2021 in New York City. The nation is marking the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, when the terrorist group al-Qaeda flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center, Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people. (Photo by Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images)
20 years later, America gathers to honor those killed on 9/11

Twenty years ago today the world changed forever when Al Qaeda terrorists struck New York, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. using airplanes as weapons. The U.S. airline industry, and the country as a whole, has never been the same.

Roses are placed at the name of Frank Spinelli during a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. (Photo by Anthony Behar - Pool/Getty Images)

Today, ceremonies and remembrances were held across the country as families, friends and leaders gathered to mark that terrible day.

A woman places flowers as she visits the 9/11 Memorial during a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorating in New York City. (Photo by Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images)

Today at Ground Zero in Manhattan, President Biden was joined by former President Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Jill Biden, former First Lady Michelle Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg as they honored the nearly 3,000 who died during the annual 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony.

There were six moments of silence this morning in New York at Ground Zero. Each moment of silence marked a different moment 20 years ago when each of the World Trade Center towers were hit by planes, the moment a plane crashed into the Pentagon, the moment another plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and finally the two moments when each of the Twin Towers fell in downtown Manhattan.

Fmr President Bill Clinton, fmr First Lady Hillary Clinton, fmr President Barack Obama, fmr First Lady Michelle Obama, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, fmr New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg's partner Diana Taylor, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer stand for the national anthem during the annual 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a video statement to honor the fallen, President Biden said to the survivors and family and friends of those who were killed, "...America and the world commemorate you and your loved ones."

Fmr. Pres. Barack Obama and fmr. First Lady Michelle Obama attend the ceremony at the National 9/11 Memorial marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, in New York, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Katie Mascali is comforted by her fiance Andre Jabban as they stand near the name of her father Joseph Mascali during a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Ruttle - Pool/Getty Images)
People gather in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero as the city commemorates the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

There were also tributes to the fallen at the Pentagon beginning this morning when roses were placed on the memorial to those killed at the military complex in Arlington, Virginia.

A rose lays on a bench at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on September 11, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. service members attend the Pentagon 9/11 observance ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on September 11, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke at the Pentagon 9/11 observance ceremony, and said, "...as the years march on, we must ensure that all our fellow Americans know and understand what happened here on 9/11, and in Manhattan, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.”

Vice President Kamala Harris was in Shanksville with her husband Doug Emhoff to honor those killed in Pennsylvania that day. Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush were also there to honor those killed. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Somerset County as passengers were trying to take back control of the plane from terrorists intent on striking another target in Washington, D.C.

Former President Bush spoke at the ceremony, and said, “On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor's hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff, and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) attend a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A "ring of bells" takes place during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The site is now a National Park and a place of pilgrimage for those touched by the losses of 9/11.

Featured image by Getty Images