The United States they stop to rememberSept. 11, the blackest day in their history. Grappling with the pandemic and the tensions of withdrawal from Afghanistan, America finds itself united and compact to commemorate the victims of the attack signed 20 years ago by Al Qaeda. Joe Biden visit all the places affected, from New York to the Pentagon via Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In the Big Apple he is joined by First Lady Jill, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and the leaders of the Democratic Party. The commemorations open with a minute of silence at 8.46 in the morning, to remember the moment of the crash of the first plane against the Twin Towers, then the painful reading of the names of the victims by the families begins.
Springsteen sings to surprise
Surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen takes the stage set up for the occasion and sings, in honor of the fallen, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. Biden chooses not to intervene during the ceremony and entrusts his message to a video: the president describes 9/11 as one of the “most inconceivable tragedies” in American history and asks the country to rediscover the unity that characterized it in the days following the attack 20 years ago. “Unity is what makes America the best of us. And this for me is the most important lesson of 9/11. Unity is our greatest strength, ”says Biden. Echoes him in Shanksville, where Flight 93 to Washington crashed, Vice President Kamala Harris: “Unity is fundamental and essential.”
Also in Pennsylvania to commemorate the day that changed America and the world is George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief during the attacks. And it is precisely the words of the former Republican president that resonate the strongest. Like Biden and Harris, Bush too describes America’s need to rediscover that post-9/11 spirit of unity to counteract internal divisions. The former Republican president launches into a very political speech, addressing in part to his own party and to Donald Trump, the great absent from official ceremonies and whom he never names. “Our politics has become an appeal to anger, fear and resentment. And this makes us worry for our country and for our future together, ”says Bush observing how the dangers and threats to America come from outside but also from within its borders. The “internal violent extremists who, in their disdain for pluralism and life, are children of the same crazy spirit” as the Al Qaeda attackers and for this reason “it is our task to continue to fight them”, adds the former president, inviting us to be inspired by the unit of the 40 passengers of Flight 93 who, with their courage, prevented the terrorists from hitting another target. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin opens the commemorations at the Pentagon. He does so by turning his thoughts to the victims of the attacks but also to the soldiers who fell in subsequent wars, and in particular to the last 13 marines killed in Kabul. The withdrawal from Afghanistan, and all the controversy that followed, are in fact the specter that looms over the ceremonies taking place across America. Al Qaeda recalls the massacre, with very different tones than the American ones. On social media, it has launched a massive propaganda campaign that Site manager Rita Katz described as “unprecedented”, while a 60-minute video of its leader appeared on its official network. In the film, Ayman Zawari launches into a eulogy of the organization’s’ martyrs, including the Pensacola bomber Saeed Alshamrani, and says: “Jerusalem will never be Judaized.” A message that confirms that even if the wars after 11 September are now closed, the war on terror cannot be stopped.