Memorial events are being held this saturday across the United States in honour of victims of the September 11 terror attacks on its territory 20 years ago.
According to White House, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to visit all three sites where the attacks unfolded: The World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.
Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville with second gentleman Doug Emhoff before they join the Bidens at the Pentagon.
The 20th anniversary comes amid the backdrop of the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from its war in Afghanistan, which was started in response to the attacks.
Biden last week also directed the declassification of certain documents related to the attacks, which the families of some victims have sought in hopes of implicating the Saudi government.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks when 19 al-Qaida attackers hijacked four commercial airplanes in a plot orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.
Two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers before the plane crashed into the filed, missing its intended target in Washington.
The anniversary marks a transitional moment as awareness of the attacks moves from memory to history, said Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
“The 20th anniversary, in my view, … is the first of the next generation of remembrances,” said Dan Murphy, who is on the team designing the planned visitor education center at the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial site.
“There’s been 19 times we’ve read the names, we’ve talked about that moment, we’ve somberly looked back. That will never, ever go away. But … on the 20th anniversary, I think this is the first time we talk about 9/11 into the future.”