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Mourners were joined by current and former politicians Monday for a somber ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), with his wife Casey, attended the commemoration, along with New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY), New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and former NYC Mayors Bill de Blasio, Michael Bloomberg, and Rudy Giuliani, who led the city through the attacks. The group of politicians attended the ceremony, not to speak, but to stand alongside some of the family members of the 2,977 people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack as the names of those who died were read aloud, the Associated Press reported.
President Joe Biden was not present, making him the first president since the terror attacks not to visit one of the three 9/11 memorial sites (Ground Zero, the Pentagon Memorial, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania) on September 11. Biden, returning from his trip to India and Vietnam, stopped in Anchorage, Alaska, to commemorate the 9/11 terror attacks with troops and their families at a military base.
Former President Donald Trump, a former New Yorker, was also absent from the Ground Zero ceremony. Trump released a video on social media honoring the lives lost and the heroic actions of first responders on 9/11.
Adams, who was a police lieutenant on the day Islamic terrorists flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center, told CBS News that the country’s response to the attacks was a definitive moment in the history of New York and the U.S.
“The greatest thing about New York City in America was not what happened on 9/11, but what happened on 9/12,” he said. “We got up, teachers taught, builders built and we continued to show that we were not going to bend or break.”
Many Americans across the country are commemorating the September 11 attacks by attending vigils or watching newsreels of the fateful day that changed their country forever, but for some Americans, the trauma of September 11, 2001, isn’t just a thing of the past.
“For those of us who lost people on that day, that day is still happening,” said Edward Edelman, whose brother-in-law Daniel McGinley lost his life on 9/11. “Everybody else moves on. And you find a way to go forward, but that day is always happening for you.”