Biden honours Sept 11 victims as shadow of Afghan war looms

His statement will commemorate the nearly 3,000 people killed that day


Published: Sun 11 Sep 2022, 7:15 PM

US President Joe Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks today, laying a wreath at the Pentagon in a sombre commemoration held under a steady rain.

Sunday's ceremony occurred a little more than a year after Biden ended the long and costly war in Afghanistan that the US and its allies launched in response to the terror attacks.

In ending the Afghanistan war, the Democratic president followed through on a campaign pledge to bring home US troops from the country's longest conflict. The war concluded chaotically in August 2021, however, when the US-backed Afghan government collapsed in the face of a countrywide Taliban advance that returned the fundamentalist group to power.

A bombing claimed by an Afghanistan-based extremist group killed 170 Afghans and 13 US troops at Kabul's airport, where thousands of desperate Afghans gathered in hopes of escape before the final US cargo planes departed over the Hindu Kush.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Biden in his remarks on Sunday will recognise the impact the 2001 attacks had on the US and the world, and honour the nearly 3,000 people killed that day when hijackers took control of commercial planes and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field.

“I think you’ll hear him talk about how America will stay vigilant to the threat, but also look to future threats and challenges and be able to learn to meet those threats and challenges,” Kirby said.

Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan late last month in a low-key fashion. He issued a statement in honour of the 13 US troops killed in the bombing at Kabul airport.

First lady Jill Biden will speak Sunday at the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband attended a commemoration ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial in New York.


More news from Americas