The Wider World

Somber “9/11” observances

TERRORIST attack in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 (Wikipedia).

The 20th anniversary on Saturday of the “9/11” attack by terrorists on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 was observed solemnly across the nation and the world today.

President Joe Biden – in a video released by the White House Friday night – said, “Unity is our greatest strength.” At a visit to a volunteer firehouse near Shanksville, Pennsylvania near where one of four planes hijacked was downed by the heroic efforts of the passengers, he said, “The thing that’s going to affect our well-being more than anything else” is unity, according to the Associated Press.

He later laid a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Lloyd Austin (Secretary of Defense) and Gen. Mark Milley (chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).

Twenty years ago today, terrorists hijacked four passenger jets with the intention of crashing them into the two World Trade towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and – possibly – the White House.

The World Trade towers were destroyed, the Pentagon building damaged but the fourth plane crashed as passengers battled to overcome the hijackers.

Over 3,000 people were killed, and in the aftermath, new laws were passed – some of them controversial – to fight terror, violence against Muslims in America spiked and U.S. troops were sent to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime which had sheltered the Al Qaeda group that planned and carried off the attack.

In New York City, Gov. Kathy Hochul attended a fire department mass and spoke about an “emotionally draining day,” according to The New York Times. “We all have to remember that behind every number, there’s a person who loved, who was loved,” she said.

In Orange County, memorial observances were held in several cities, including one set for 6 p.m. today at the Pier Plaza (Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway) in Huntington Beach.

To our readers: We are deviating today from our regular “Daily News” summary including sports and weather. Our purpose is to encourage people to reflect on the sacrifice, courage and lasting legacy of “9/11” in the hope we can work toward uniting as Americans and setting aside – at least for a day or so – the finger-pointing and bickering that’s become so much as part of the current political and cultural scene. We will return to our regular format on Sunday.

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