The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has participated this Sunday in a ceremony at the Pentagon coinciding with the 21st anniversary of the attacks against the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon itself, headquarters of the Department of Defense, on September 11, 2001.
Biden has participated in a wreath-laying ceremony for the victims accompanied by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Mark A. Milley.
“Terrorism struck us on that bright blue morning. The sky filled with smoke and then came the sirens (…). America’s history changed that day, (but) what did not change, what we cannot change, what will never change is the character of this nation, the character that the terrorists believed they could hurt,” Biden said.
The president has highlighted of this American “character” the “sacrifice, the love and the generosity, the strength and the resilience.” “In the days following 9/11 we saw what America is made of,” said Biden, who recalled in particular the civilians who wrested control of Flight 93 from the terrorists and the police and firefighters who worked at Ground Zero.
As for the civilians of Flight 93, Biden stressed that “they were experiencing the first shot of a new war and chose to fight back and sacrifice themselves to prevent their plane from being used as a weapon.”
Biden has promised to “never ever forget” and has insisted on the need to “bring justice to those responsible for the attacks.” “It took ten years to hunt down Usama bin Laden, but we did it and this summer and I have authorized a strike against (Ayman) Al Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s right-hand man on 9/11 and current leader of Al Qaeda. We will never forget, we will never surrender and Al Zawahiri will never be able to threaten the American people again,” he said.
Al Zawahiri was killed on July 31 in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Biden then called this attack “an act of justice.” “We will never hesitate to do whatever it takes to defend the American people,” Biden reiterated Sunday.
First Lady Jill Biden; Vice President Kamala Harris; and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff have traveled to the other sites of the attacks, the World Trade Center in New York and the field where Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Jill Biden has been in Shanksville, while Harris and Emhoff have been present at the New York events, where the names of the victims have been read.
Already during the night of Saturday the two powerful light cannons that remember the two Twin Towers destroyed in the Manhattan attacks have been lit.