Biden honors fallen ahead of 20th anniversary

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WASHINGTON – In a pre-recorded message to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, President Joe Biden remembered the events as a moment defined not only by heroism but “unity and resilience.” 

“We learned that unity is the one thing that must never break,” Biden said in a six-minute video filmed at the White House. “At our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul America, unity is our greatest strength.”

Biden is set to visit New York City, Shanksville, PA., and the Pentagon – all three sites where planes crashed – on Saturday to commemorate the 20 years since the attack. The president, who will lay wreaths and pay tribute to those who lost their lives, is not due to give remarks at any of the three events. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said none of the events include a “lengthy speaking program” which is why the president is delivering a message ahead of the anniversary. 

“Unity doesn’t mean we have to believe in the same thing,” Biden said in an apparent reference to the country’s political divisions. “But we must have a fundamental respected faith in each other and in this nation.” 

Biden will join former President George W. Bush, who was commander in chief during the 2001 terrorist attacks, in Shanksville, while former President Barack Obama will attend the remembrance ceremony at Ground Zero in New York. 

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

The anniversary comes more than a week after the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year occupation that began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Biden’s visit is set against the backdrop of the chaotic and deadly withdrawal of U.S. troops late last month that was upended after the Taliban quickly overran Afghan government forces. The final days saw a terrorist attack that left 13 U.S. service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians dead. 

More: From memory to history: How America will remember Sept. 11 on 20th anniversary

Learn: Sept. 11 by the numbers: Facts from a tragic day in American history

From the archives | The day before an American tragedy: dispatches from Sept. 10, 200

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Archive: US marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

The 9/11 attacks changed America, and the world, forever. On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, thousands will gather to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost in the worst attacks on U.S. soil since the Pearl Harbor attack. (Sept. 3)

AP

Earlier this month Biden signed an executive order directing the Department of Justice and other federal agencies to declassify material related to the 9/11 attacks for possible release of sensitive information – meeting a demand of victims’ families before the…



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