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The United States Commemorates the 22nd Anniversary of 9/11, From Ground Zero to Alaska

by Ethan Kim
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22nd anniversary of 9/11

On Monday, citizens across the United States paused to remember the devastating terror attacks that occurred 22 years ago on September 11, with ceremonies featuring moments of silence, emotional tributes, and calls to educate future generations about the events of that fateful day.

Edward Edelman, who attended the ceremony at New York’s World Trade Center to pay respects to his late brother-in-law Daniel McGinley, remarked, “For those who experienced loss on that tragic day, the event is perpetually unfolding. While the rest of the world has moved on, for us, the day perpetually recurs.”

Speaking from a military base in Anchorage, Alaska, President Joe Biden emphasized the unity that must come from preserving democracy. His visit, made during his return journey to Washington from diplomatic engagements in India and Vietnam, served as a reminder that the reverberations of 9/11 were felt in every part of the United States, irrespective of geographical distance.

“The wounds of this day are etched in the hearts of every American,” President Biden noted. “From bustling metropolises to small rural communities, the entire nation came together, eager to offer assistance wherever possible.”

Additional Updates on September 11 Attacks

  • Identification of remains of two victims in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack
  • Completion of a performing arts center at ground zero after 20 years of delays and altered plans
  • Biden declines to fulfill certain conditions sought by 9/11 defendants in plea discussions

The terror attacks claimed nearly 3,000 lives when commandeered aircraft collided with the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. The event fundamentally altered the trajectory of American foreign policy and national security concerns.

Eddie Ferguson, the fire-rescue chief in Virginia’s Goochland County, remarked over the phone before the anniversary, “On that day, America was united as one nation, as it should always be.”

Goochland County, a predominantly rural area with a population of 25,000, holds two separate commemorative events: one for first responders and another honoring all victims of the tragedy.

Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial plaza at ground zero, where victims’ families read the names of the deceased and shared personal reflections. Instead of political speeches, the ceremony showcased messages of patriotism, gratitude towards first responders and military personnel, and calls for peace and justice.

At the Pentagon, First Lady Jill Biden laid a wreath at the 9/11 memorial. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reiterated that although years have passed, the Defense Department remains committed to remembering the events and repercussions of September 11, 2001.

Concerning the rising threat of extremism, President Biden warned the American military and their families that constant vigilance is required to safeguard the nation’s democratic principles.

Across the nation, Americans engaged in volunteer activities, designated as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance, and attended memorial events organized in various locations, from firehouses to educational campuses.

The global impact of the tragedy was acknowledged by U.N. General Assembly President Dennis Francis, who urged nations to combat extremism and promote tolerance. He called upon the world to “join hands and say never again.”

Fenton, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb located over 650 miles from the primary attack sites, also held a ceremony featuring a memorial that includes steel from the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center.

“We may be a small community,” said Mayor Joe Maurath prior to the anniversary, “but it is vital for us to perpetuate the memory of these events. Not just 9/11, but all the events that constitute the fabric of our freedom.”

Contributing Reporters

Journalists Julie Walker and Deepti Hajela in New York; Seung Min Kim in Anchorage, Alaska; Tara Copp in Washington; and Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania contributed to this comprehensive report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 22nd anniversary of 9/11

What is the main focus of this report?

The main focus of this report is on how the United States observed the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It covers ceremonies and speeches from Ground Zero in New York to Anchorage, Alaska, including insights from victims’ families, political figures, and military personnel.

Who are some of the key figures mentioned in the report?

Key figures mentioned include President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Victims’ family members like Edward Edelman and Eddie Ferguson, the fire-rescue chief in Virginia’s Goochland County, are also highlighted.

Where did President Biden deliver his 9/11 commemorative speech?

President Joe Biden delivered his speech at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska. He emphasized the unity that must come from preserving democracy and the need for constant vigilance against threats to American principles.

What actions did First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take on this day?

First Lady Jill Biden laid a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial plaza at Ground Zero, where she joined victims’ families in remembering the deceased.

How did communities across the United States participate in the commemoration?

Various communities engaged in volunteer activities, designated as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Memorial events were organized in firehouses, city halls, educational campuses, and other locations nationwide.

Were international perspectives mentioned in the report?

Yes, the global impact of the tragedy was acknowledged by U.N. General Assembly President Dennis Francis, who urged nations to combat extremism and promote tolerance.

What additional updates related to the 9/11 attacks are covered in the report?

The report includes updates on the identification of remains of two victims in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, the completion of a performing arts center at Ground Zero after 20 years of delays, and President Biden’s refusal to fulfill certain conditions sought by 9/11 defendants in plea negotiations.

More about 22nd anniversary of 9/11

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • President Biden’s Speech on 22nd Anniversary of 9/11
  • Department of Defense Commemorates 9/11
  • Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance
  • U.N. General Assembly President on Countering Extremism
  • 9/11 Defendants and Plea Negotiations Update

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