US President Joe Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, laying a wreath at the Pentagon in a somber commemoration held in constant rain.
Sunday’s ceremony took place just over a year after the end of the long and costly war in Afghanistan that the United States and its allies launched in response to terrorist attacks.
In ending the war in Afghanistan, the Democratic president followed through on a campaign promise to bring home US troops from the country’s longest conflict.
However, the war came to a chaotic end in August 2021, when Afghanistan’s US-backed government crumbled in the face of a nationwide Taliban advance that returned the fundamentalist group to power. A bomb attack, claimed by an extremist group based in Afghanistan, killed 170 Afghans and 13 American soldiers at Kabul airport, where thousands of desperate Afghans gathered in the hope of escaping before the last American cargo planes leave over the Hindu Kush mountain range.
During his speech Sunday, President Biden is expected to address the impact of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the world, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
It will also honor the memory of the approximately 3,000 people killed that day when Al-Qaeda hijackers took over airliners and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
“I think you’ll hear him talk about how the United States will stay alert to the threat, but also look to future threats and challenges,” Kirby said.
Mr. Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan late last month in a low-key fashion. He issued a statement in honor of the 13 American soldiers killed in the Kabul airport bombing and spoke on the phone with veterans of the United States who participated in resettlement efforts for Afghans in the United States who contributed to the war effort.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday criticized Biden’s handling of the end of the war in Afghanistan and noted that the country has fallen under the new Taliban regime since the United States withdrew. United.
“Now, a year after last August’s disaster, the devastating scale of the repercussions of President Biden’s decision has become a priority,” McConnell said wryly.
“Afghanistan has become a global pariah. Its economy has shrunk by almost a third and half of its population now suffers from critical levels of food insecurity,” he said.
The first lady of the United States, Jill Biden, will also speak on Sunday at the National Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband attended a memorial service at the National September 11 Memorial in New York.
Trudeau pays tribute to the victims
On the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the National Day of Service, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to the victims among our neighbors to the south.
“21 years ago today, the world witnessed the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States of America, our closest neighbor and ally. Today, we honor the nearly 3,000 victims of this tragedy from more than 50 countries, including 24 Canadians, and the thousands of others who were injured,” he said in a written statement.
He also paid tribute to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, soldiers and citizens who risked their lives to save the lives of others.
Prime Minister Trudeau also took the opportunity to thank first responders “who put their lives on the line every day to keep others safe,” including in Canada.
“On this National Day of Service, we remember the generosity people show in the face of tragedy. We are thinking of the people and communities across Canada, such as Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, where residents provided air passengers in distress with hot meals, clean bedding and access to their home to take a hot shower. They have also converted schools, churches and community halls into temporary housing. Their hospitality has shown the world what it means to be Canadian and reminds us that when we come together, we can get through the darkest times. »