At 8:46 a.m. attendees of the ceremony participated in a moment of silence remembering the moment the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden were joined by former President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton this morning in lower Manhattan for the commemoration ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial. https://t.co/YshsWGgMXP pic.twitter.com/IceyYK7E29
— CNN (@CNN) September 11, 2021
The Bidens then traveled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the victims who lost their lives on Flight 93.
Pres. Joe Biden participates in a 9/11 observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as the nation remembers those lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001, 20 years later. https://t.co/ApLDVAU2Tz pic.twitter.com/HDtKUmwxVa
— ABC News (@ABC) September 11, 2021
While the president is not expected to deliver remarks Saturday, he released a video message on Friday. During Biden’s message, he remembered his friend Davis, who he grew up with in Delaware.
“On this day, 20 years ago, he and his family had just passed the first year without their youngest of three sons, Teddy, who died in a boating accident at age 15. His eldest son, Davis Jr., was just six days into a new job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center,” Biden said.
He recalled going “to speak to students at the University of Delaware about what to make of the new world we were in. He told me to tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid…’ The absolute courage it took after two unimaginable losses is extraordinary.”
Biden continued, “To the families of the 2,977 people from more than 90 nations killed on September 11, 2001, in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the thousands of more that were injured, America and the world commemorate you and your loved ones.”
Acknowledging the first responders who acted that day, Biden explained, “We honor all those who risked and gave their lives in the minutes, hours, months, and years afterward. The firefighters, the police officers, EMTs and construction workers, and doctors and nurses, faith leaders, service members, veterans, and all of the everyday people who gave their all to rescue, recover, and rebuild.”
Watch his remarks below:
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attacks, President Biden honors the lives of those we lost and highlights how even at our most vulnerable – unity is our greatest strength.pic.twitter.com/TdVhw9TVpb
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 10, 2021
Biden went on to acknowledge the children that have “grown up without parents, and parents have suffered without children. Husbands and wives have had to find ways forward without their partners in their life with them.”
He went on, “No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago.”
Recognizing the unity the nation saw in the following days, Biden said, “Unity is what makes us who we are, America at its best. To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th.”
“On this 20th anniversary, on this solemn day of remembrance, we must challenge ourselves. Yes. To look back, to remember for the sake of our children, for the sake of their children,” Harris said.
She added, “And for that reason, we must also look forward. We must also look toward the future, because in the end, I do believe that is what the 40 were fighting for: their future and ours.”
Harris similarly stressed how important unity is to America, saying, “When we stand together and looking back, we remember the vast majority of Americans were unified in purpose to help families heal, to help communities recover, to defend our nation, and to keep us safe. In a time of outright terror, we turned toward each other in the face of a stranger. We saw a neighbor and a friend.”
Forty people lost their lives when flight 93 crashed into the Pennsylvania field.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.