The United States marked the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Sunday by reading the names of the victims, performing volunteer work and other ceremonies.
In New York City, where the World Trade Center towers were brought down by terrorists, a bell rang and a minute of silence was observed in honor of the victims.
At the ceremony in New York, the nephew of one of the firefighters who died that day honored his uncle.
“You are always in my heart and I know that from where you are you protect me,” said Jimmy Riches, who was not born when his uncle, who had the same name, died.
There were ceremonies in the other two places attacked: the Pentagon and a prairie in Pennsylvania.
At the Pentagon, President Joe Biden attended a ceremony honoring the victims.
Referring to the fallen rescuers that day, Biden said: “We owe you an incredible, incredible debt.”
Biden noted that even after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States will continue to pursue those responsible for the attacks. Last month, Biden announced that the United States had killed Ayman al-Zawahri, an al-Qaeda leader who helped plot the attacks, in a clandestine operation.
“We will never forget, we will never give up,” Biden said.
“Our commitment to prevent another attack on the United States will never end,” he added.
Biden used the occasion to reiterate that democracy in the United States is in danger.
“It’s not enough to defend democracy once a year, or once in a while,” Biden said. “It’s something we have to do every day. So this is not only a day of remembrance, but also a day of renewal and commitment for each citizen in his devotion to this country, to the principles that he embodies, to our democracy.”
“We have the obligation, the duty, the responsibility, to preserve and protect our democracy, the same democracy that guarantees the right to freedom that the terrorists on September 11 tried to bury in fire, smoke and ashes,” Biden added.
First Lady Jill Biden will speak at the Memorial on the Prairie in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband attended a ceremony at the victims’ memorial in New York but, as is tradition, political leaders do not speak at that event.
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