Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, almost 3,000 people lost their lives after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Terrorists also attempted to hijack a fourth flight, but passengers and crew members attempted to take over the plane, and it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This weekend, people sent in tributes from around the world to mark the solemn occasion.
President Joe Biden, who served in the U.S. Senate at the time of the attacks, arrived in New York City Friday night to begin a tour of the sites where the planes crashed. He does not plan on delivering a speech on Saturday, but the White House released a brief video Friday night in which Biden noted there was a "true sense of national unity" after the attacks. That unity was seen in "heroism everywhere - in places expected and unexpected," Biden said, adding that it was the "central lesson" of Sept. 11, 2001, that "unity is our greatest strength."
Former President George W. Bush, whose time in office was defined by the attacks, is visiting Shanksville on Saturday. Bush is expected to speak at the memorial, with Vice President Kamala Harris speaking as well, according to the Post-Gazette. "His dedication to this memorial has never wavered," Gordon Felt, whose brother was on Flight 93, told the Post-Gazette of Bush. "We are honored that he'll be back, just as we're honored that [President Joe Biden] and [Vice President Kamala Harris] will be here this year."
Bush's successor, former President Barack Obama, is also visiting New York this weekend. Former President Donald Trump also planned to stop in New York. On Saturday night, Trump is also delivering ringside commentary for a boxing match at a Florida casino. Scroll on to see how other celebrities and politicians marked the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack against the country.
'We remember the lives lost'
"My thoughts and prayers...remain with the victims, survivors and families affected."September 11, 2021
"20 years ago, radical Islamic terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans. We remember the lives lost," Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted. "We remember all those who have served and sacrificed for our country around the world in our fight against terror. We will #NeverForget."prevnext
'Take a moment to honor' the victims and first responders
20 years later and the pain and horror of 9/11 still resounds in our memories. But so does the bravery and heroism of the first responders who answered the call that Tuesday morning. America endures because we remember and today, we remember our heroes and we must #NeverForget. pic.twitter.com/tDgZS9KcS3— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) September 11, 2021
"As we mark the 20th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack that shook our nation, let us take a moment to honor the nearly 3,000 Americans we lost and the heroic first responders who ran into danger while others ran to safety that day," Sen. Tammy Duckworth tweeted.prevnext
'The visceral images of the towers falling are as real today as they were then'
"20 years ago today I was on a Russian Navy ship in the Black Sea for NASA training. The visceral images of the towers falling are as real today as they were then," astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted. "It was a day of crisis, but despite our differences we came together as a united nation. We will #neverforget."prevnext
'A painful anniversary'
I watch this video every 9-11 and it still brings me to tears. It’s the story of 24 year old Welles Crowther and how he gave his life saving 15+ complete strangers. Everyone should watch it. #NeverForget https://t.co/gaX3Vdocxq— Jon Gordon (@JonGordon11) September 11, 2021
"Twenty years ago today, nearly three thousand people lost their lives in the horrific and unprecedented acts of terror against our state and our nation," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote.
"This is always a painful anniversary," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote. "We remember those we loved and lost. We remember the fear and the heartbreak. But we also remember the heroes who ran into danger. Never forget isn't a slogan, it's a promise. One we honor every single day in New York City."prevnext
"I remember - a perfect beautiful day in DC walking into the Capitol. Hearing that the first plane hit watching on tv the second plane hit, looking out my window overlooking the Mall and seeing smoke from Pentagon," Rep. Stacey Plaskett, delegate to the U.S. Virgin Islands, wrote. "I remember - Evacuating the Capitol. The magnitude of loss, the overwhelming kindness, the pain and resolve but most of all the bravery."prevnext
'A country forever changed'
We shall #NeverForget 9/11/2001. Let's take a moment to reflect & think about the people who lost their lives, have/had lifetime side effects, the families that were effected & the Heroes that helped in the aftermath. I can't help but to get emotional on this date every year. 🇺🇲 pic.twitter.com/rTXsGraPdk— RE2PECT (@RE2PECT2JETER) September 11, 2021
"September 11th, 2001. 8:46 AM. Over 2,500 people killed, more than 6,000 people injured. A country forever changed," Katie Couric wrote. "Today I'm remembering those we lost on 9/11, and keeping those they loved and who loved them in my heart. I will always remember. I will #neverforget." She included a clip from the Today Show broadcast as the attacks happened.prev