By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – America and much of the world remembered Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States and prompted a global war on terrorism.
Amid grief, two beams of light were to shine as beacons of hope far into the night skies above New York City where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood.
They began to shine after a day of emotionally charged ceremonies that began with a minute’s silence at 08:46 local time. It was the exact moment the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 2001.
There were five more moments of silence over the next few hours. They marked the time when the second plane crashed into the South Tower, when a third jet struck the Pentagon just outside Washington DC, and when the fourth aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania, and finally when each tower collapsed.
All morning, roses continued to be placed beside the victims’ names etched into the Ground Zero memorial.
Some of the most moving moments of Saturday’s 9/11 commemorations involved young children. They were all born long after the grandparents’ deaths they wished to honor while helping to read out the names of the attack’s 2,977 victims.
“For my grandfather, Michael San Phillip,” Charlotte Spero told the crowd of mourners on the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in lower Manhattan while remembering her grandfather, an investment banker who worked in the South Tower.
“Who I was never able to meet, but I’m pretty sure we would have had a lot of fun together,” she said with a smile.
Mina Clemente, 9, had a special request for her grandfather, Cesar Amoranto Alviar, an accountant with Marsh & McLennan.
“Thank you for watching over us,” the little girl said. “And please convince Mommy to get us a husky someday.”
Other relatives of people who died on 9/11 struggled to hold back tears at the ceremony held at Ground Zero, the Twin Towers site destroyed in the attacks by al-Qaeda militants.
Mike Low, whose daughter was a flight attendant in the first plane that hit the World Trade Center, thanked those who supported his family through “the darkest days of our lives.”
Low recalled the “grey and black world” of New York in the aftermath of the attack and asked for 9/11 to be remembered, “not as numbers or a date, but the faces of ordinary people.”
Lisa Reina was nearly eight months pregnant when her husband Joseph was killed. Fighting back the tears, she said: “Our son is the spitting image of you… Continue to watch over your family and us. Until we meet again, my love.” She also stressed that “Twenty years feels like an eternity, but it still feels like yesterday.”
At the memorial in New York, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as former First Ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
Biden traveled to all three attack sites on Saturday – New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In a video released on the eve of the anniversary, he paid tribute to the victims. “No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago,” Biden said.
Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after George W Bush. “We must challenge ourselves to look back, to remember, for the sake of our children… and for that reason, we must also look forward,” she added.
It is thought that the hijackers of the plane that crashed into the Shanksville field were meant to attack the Capitol Building in Washington DC, but passengers and crew fought back. At a wreath-laying ceremony, President Biden said they had shown “genuine heroism.”
Former President Donald J. Trump did not attend the ceremony in New York. However, he did visit a Manhattan police station near Trump Tower.
On Saturday morning, former President Trump released a video statement praising first responders.
He added it was a “sad time for the way our war on those that did such harm to our country ended last week” – referring to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Americans and perhaps thousands of allies of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan remained behind enemy lines Saturday, though the Biden administration pledged to get them out.
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