On September 11, 2023, Americans took a moment to reflect and remember the tragic events that occurred 22 years ago. It was on this day in 2001 that Islamist hijackers seized control of jetliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. These attacks shook the nation to its core and marked a turning point in history.
While President Joe Biden was away on a trip to India and Vietnam, he made sure to honor the memory of the victims by delivering remarks in a solemn ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. This decision to hold the event in Alaska, instead of the usual locations of Washington or New York, was a departure from presidential custom. It was a way to highlight the unity and resilience of the American people, no matter where they may be.
In addition to President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, and other officials were present at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. They joined the families of those who lost their lives in the planes that hit the twin towers and on the ground during the attacks. The memorial, which stands on the footprints of the fallen buildings, serves as a somber reminder of the horrific events that took place on that fateful day.
Meanwhile, Pentagon officials held a traditional event at the U.S. military’s headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C. This event paid tribute to the victims and honored the bravery of the first responders and military personnel who risked their lives to save others. The attacks on September 11, 2001, resulted in the loss of over 3,000 lives and led to a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy.
In response to these acts of terror, then-President George W. Bush initiated a “global war on terror,” which included a military campaign in Afghanistan to locate and capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It was not until 2011, under the administration of President Barack Obama, that bin Laden was finally found and killed during a U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan.
The September 11 attacks remain the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The nation continues to remember those who were lost and pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of the American people.