The world solemnly marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Sept. 11, grieving lost lives and shattered American unity in commemorations that unfolded just weeks after the bloody end of the Afghanistan war launched in response to the terror attacks.
Victims’ relatives and four U.S. presidents paid their respects at the sites where hijacked planes killed nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil.
Foreign leaders expressed sympathy over an attack that happened in the U.S. but claimed victims from more than 90 countries.
“It felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary,” said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a flight attendant on the first plane that crashed. The father was speaking to a ground zero crowd in New York that included President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Later in the day, Biden laid a wreath at the crash site of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. He said unity is “the thing that’s going to affect our well-being more than anything else.”
In a video released the night before, Biden said the attacks illustrated that “unity is our greatest strength.” (AP)