US Marks 21st Anniversary of 9/11 Terror Attacks
September 11, 2022 (New York): Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work, and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.
Victims’ relatives and dignitaries will convene Sunday at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept. 11, 2001—the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.
Other communities around the country are marking the day with candlelight vigils, interfaith services, and other commemorations. Some Americans are joining in volunteer projects on a day that is federally recognized as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The observances follow a fraught milestone anniversary last year. It came weeks after the chaotic and humbling end of the Afghanistan war that the United States launched in response to the attacks.
Image above: Members of the public arrive at the south pool after the conclusion of ceremonies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Sept. 11, 2021, at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, in New York on Sept. 11, 2022. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)
The attacks have cast a long shadow into the personal lives of thousands of people who survived, responded to, or lost loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
More than 70 of Sekou Siby’s co-workers perished at Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the trade center’s north tower. Siby had been scheduled to work that morning until another cook asked him to switch shifts.
Siby never took a restaurant job again; it would have brought back too many memories. The Ivorian immigrant wrestled with how to comprehend such horror in a country where he’d come looking for a better life.
He found it difficult to form the type of close, family-like friendships he and his Windows on the World co-workers had shared. It was too painful, he had learned, to become attached to people when “you have no control over what’s going to happen to them next.”
“Every 9/11 is a reminder of what I lost that I can never recover,” says Siby, who is now president and CEO of ROC United. The restaurant workers’ advocacy group evolved from a relief center for Windows on the World workers who lost their jobs when the twin towers fell.
On Sunday, Joe Biden plans to speak and lay a wreath at the Pentagon, while Jill Biden is scheduled to speak in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked planes went down after passengers and crew members tried to storm the cockpit as the hijackers headed for Washington. Al-Qaeda terrorists had seized control of the jets to use them as passenger-filled missiles.
Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff are due at the National Sept. 11 Memorial in New York, but by tradition, no political figures speak at the ground zero ceremony. It centers instead on victims’ relatives reading aloud the names of the dead.
Readers often add personal remarks that form an alloy of American sentiments about Sept. 11—grief, toughness, appreciation for first responders and the military, appeals to patriotism, hopes for peace, and a poignant accounting of the graduations, weddings, births, and daily lives that victims have missed.
Source: Associated Press