20 years of September 11: the commemorations program

America is a very widely divided country. But if there is one date in the calendar when almost everyone is united, it is September 11. This year will be special, since it will be the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaida on national soil.

Like every year, the nerve center of the commemorations will be in New York, where 2,753 people lost their lives, not counting the terrorists. Tributes will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time (2:30 p.m. French time).

During the ceremony, six times of silence will be observed. These correspond to the exact times that on September 11, 2001, planes hit the World Trade Center, the towers collapsed, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Between these silent minutes, the names of all the victims will be read. The ceremony is scheduled to conclude at 12:30 p.m. New York time.

Joe Biden’s presence threatened?

In addition, as every year, the city’s sky will be illuminated by spotlights throwing two columns of light. Recalling the two towers of the World Trade Center, this tradition called “Tribute of Light” (“L’Hommage de Lumière” in French) has existed since the first major commemorations of September 11, 2001.

The White House, for its part, has let it be known that Joe Biden will visit the three emblematic places of the attacks: in New York, in Pennsylvania (east) and on the Pentagon site. The US President and his wife Jill Biden want, according to a statement, “to pay tribute and commemorate the lives lost” by going to New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell; in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a plane hijacked by four jihadists crashed; and in Arlington, Virginia, not far from Washington, where the US Department of Defense was attacked.

Joe Bien’s coming to New York had been threatened at the beginning of August. In fact, around 1,700 family members of the victims signed a letter asking the president not to make the trip, unless he declassified documents that could link members of the Saudi government to the organizers of the attacks.

Faced with the pressure, the White House agreed, without specifying what information would be released, or when. “As I promised during my campaign, my administration is committed to ensuring maximum transparency by respecting the law,” the president later said in a press release. What to extinguish, quickly, any possible controversy.

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