A bronze parapet bearing the names of victims in the 9/11 attacks is adorned with flowers at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the United States, Sept 10, 2021. (WANG YING / XINHUA)
UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday issued a statement to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
"Today we mark a somber day seared in the minds of millions of people around the world — a day when nearly 3,000 lives from over 90 countries were taken by terrorists in cowardly and heinous attacks in the United States of America. Thousands more were injured," Guterres said in the statement.
And we remember the solidarity, unity and resolve expressed 20 years ago by the international community, aiming for a future without terrorism.
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
"On this day, my thoughts are with the victims and their families. We pay tribute to the survivors, who have had to overcome physical and emotional scars to get on with their lives. We honor the first responders who put themselves in harm's way, with many making the ultimate sacrifice, exemplifying the very humanity and compassion that terrorism seeks to erase," he said. "And we remember the solidarity, unity and resolve expressed 20 years ago by the international community, aiming for a future without terrorism."
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"Today, we stand in solidarity with the people of New York City, the United States of America, as well as all victims of terrorism everywhere around the world. We recommit ourselves to work together to uphold their rights and needs," said Guterres.
My thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth said on Saturday that her prayers remained with victims and survivors of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and paid tribute to the communities that joined together to rebuild after the devastation.
"My thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty," she said in a message to US President Joe Biden.
"My visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 is held fast in my memory," Elizabeth said.
"It reminds me that as we honor those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild."
A man commemorates victims in the 9/11 attacks at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the United States, Sept 10, 2021. (WANG YING / XINHUA)
Biden released a video on Friday to express his condolences to the loved ones of the victims and highlight the national unity that resulted, at least initially, after 9/11.
It's so hard. Whether it's the first year or the 20th, children have grown up without parents and parents have suffered without children.
Joe Biden, US President
"It's so hard. Whether it's the first year or the 20th, children have grown up without parents and parents have suffered without children," Biden said.
Biden will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks on Saturday by visiting each of the sites where hijacked planes crashed in 2001.
He will begin the day in New York, where he will attend a ceremony at 8:30 EDT at the site where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood before planes struck the two buildings and caused them to collapse.
Then he will travel to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Flight 93 crashed into a field after passengers overtook the hijackers and prevented another target from being hit.
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Finally Biden will return to the Washington area to visit the Pentagon, the symbol of US military might that was pierced by another of the planes that were used as missiles that day.
He is not scheduled to deliver remarks at any of the sites.