US marks 20 years of 9/11 attack, tributes pour
America marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday with solemn ceremonies given added poignancy by the recent chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and return to power of the Taliban.
Heart-wrenching commemorations will unfold at each of the three sites where 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers, mostly from Saudi Arabia, crashed packed airliners, striking the cultural, financial and political hearts of the United States and changing the world forever.
The memorials come with US troops finally gone from Afghanistan, but national discord, and for President Joe Biden, political peril, are overshadowing any sense of closure.
In a video posted on the eve of the anniversary, Biden urged Americans to show unity, “our greatest strength.”
“To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th. It’s that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength,” Biden said in a six- minute message from the White House.
At New York’s Ground Zero, where two pools of water now stand where the Twin Towers used to, relatives will read out the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed, in a four-hour-long service starting at 8:30 am (1230 GMT).
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