By: PTI | September 11, 2023
Americans are looking back on the horror and legacy of 9/11, gathering Monday at memorials, firehouses, city halls and elsewhere to observe the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on US soil.
Commemorations stretch from the attack sites - at New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania - to Alaska and beyond. President Joe Biden is due at at a ceremony on a military base in Anchorage.
His visit, en route to Washington, DC, from a trip to India and Vietnam, is a reminder that the impact of 9/11 was felt in every corner of the nation, however remote. The hijacked plane attacks claimed nearly 3,000 lives and reshaped American foreign policy and domestic fears.
On that day, "we were one country, one nation, one people, just like it should be. That was the feeling - that everyone came together and did what we could, where we were at, to try to help," said Eddie Ferguson, the fire-rescue chief in Virginia's Goochland County.
Other communities across the country pay tribute with moments of silence, tolling bells, candlelight vigils and other activities. In Columbus, Indiana, 911 dispatchers broadcast a remembrance message to police, fire and EMS radios throughout the 50,000-person city, which also holds a public memorial ceremony.
As another way of marking the anniversary, many Americans do volunteer work on what Congress has designated both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
In Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked jets crashed after passengers tried to storm the cockpit, a remembrance and wreath-laying is scheduled at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown operated by the National Park Service. Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, is expected to attend the ceremony.
At ground zero, Vice President Kamala Harris is due to join the ceremony on the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum plaza. The event will not feature remarks from political figures, instead giving the podium to victims' relatives for an hourslong reading of the names of the dead. First lady Jill Biden is due to lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.
The memorial site will offer a new educational video, virtual tour and other materials for teachers to use in classrooms. Educators with a total of more than 10,000 students have registered for access to the free "National Day of Learning" program, which will be available through the fall, organizers say.
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