Silence, twenty years after chaos. The United States commemorated September 11 on Saturday with tributes to some 3,000 people killed twenty years ago in the worst jihadist attacks in history. A very solemn but emotional ceremony was first held for four hours under a clear blue sky – as on that fateful morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 – at the Manhattan Memorial Museum in New York, where it is. stood the twin towers of the World Trade Center destroyed by Al-Qaeda attacks.
In the presence of President Joe Biden, his predecessors Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, a first minute of silence was observed at 8:46 a.m., precisely twenty years after the first plane hijacked by the Islamist commando struck the North Tower. At the memorial stand, under the trees, Mike Low, who lost his daughter Sara, flight attendant in this plane, spoke of a “soothing place of memory” built on the ruins of “Ground Zero”, where new skyscrapers stand today.
The names of the missing
On this site, in front of the immense pools which replaced the towers, there followed one another, as every year for hours, relatives of the disappeared reading and evoking – in tears, the voice choked by the emotion – the names and the memory of the 2,977 people died at the three sites of the attacks (including 2,753 in New York). The Manhattan ceremony was punctuated by tributes in music – on the flute, on the violin or in song – as with the American star Bruce Springsteen who sang I’ll see you in my dreams on acoustic guitar.
Minutes of silence were observed for the collapse of the two towers, the attack on the Pentagon near Washington and the crash of one of the planes in the countryside of Shanksville, Pa., Where ceremonies were also held.
Bush and the “forces of evil”
On this Pennsylvania field, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after heroic resistance from passengers, former Republican President George W. Bush, in power on September 11, 2001, lamented his country’s political disunity. “In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an impressive, resilient and united people. If we talk about the unity of America, those times seem distant, ”said the 43rd President of the United States.
“Evil forces seem to be at work,” said Bush of the American political climate, denouncing “anger, fear and resentment”. “Our nation and our common future worry us,” said the former Republican president, who had launched the American intervention in Afghanistan in retaliation for September 11.
Biden defends withdrawal from Afghanistan
Current White House tenant Joe Biden also visited Shanksville at midday. During an exchange in a fire station, he welcomed George W. Bush’s call for union. He had pleaded Friday night for “unity” of American leaders and citizens. Its vice-president, Kamala Harris, hammered the same message in Shanksville. In their sights, their predecessor Donald Trump, accused of having thrived in power over the fractures of American politics and society. The Republican businessman, who has not given up on politics, lambasted the “incompetence” of the Biden administration for the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan which he described as “horrible”.
But Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw the troops. “Could Al Qaeda come back? Yes, but I’ll tell you, they’re already back in other places, ”he told reporters in Shanksville. “What’s the strategy? We must invade all the places where Al-Qaeda is located and leave our troops there? Let’s be serious, ”he added. He then went to the Pentagon, near Washington, where 184 people had died, the last stop of this day of commemoration.