Conflicts & War

Biden calls for unity, leaving fear behind 20 years after 9/11

Washington, Sep 10 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden called Friday for unity in his country to leave fear behind in a recorded video message on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the extremist 9/11attacks, commemorated Saturday.

“For me, the main lesson of Sep. 11 is that, when we are most vulnerable, in the tug of war that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of the United States, unity is our greatest strength,” Biden said in the video posted on his official Twitter account.

“We should not be afraid,” the president said.

Although he is scheduled to attend commemoration ceremonies Saturday at the three sites where the attacks took place two decades ago – New York, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon – Biden will not speak at those events, according to the White House.

The president has preferred to express himself in a video speech, lasting more than 6 minutes, in which he stressed that in the days following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States “saw something that is too rare: a true sense of national unity”.

He also said the country witnessed “the darkest forces of human nature: fear and anger, resentment and violence against Muslim Americans, the true and faithful followers of a peaceful religion”.

“We saw how national unity was twisted. We learned that unity is the only thing that should never be broken. Unity is what makes us who we are, it is the best face of the United States,” he said.

Unity “does not mean that you have to believe in the same thing,” he said, but it does imply having “a fundamental respect for the other,” and having the hope and courage necessary to “act and build a future that is neither reactionary nor based on the fear”.

“We find strength in broken places, as (Ernest) Hemingway wrote, we find light in darkness, and we find motivation to repair, renew and rebuild,” he said.

Biden paid tribute to the 2,977 people “from more than 90 countries” who were killed in the attacks, and to the “thousands of others who were injured”.

“The United States and the world commemorate you and your loved ones, the pieces of your soul. We honor all those who risked or lost their lives in the minutes, hours, months and years that followed,” Biden said.

He added that what happened “is still hard, whether it is the first year or the 20h,” because “too many people grew up without parents,” and so many relatives, friends and loved ones “have had to celebrate birthdays and vital milestones with a hole in the heart”.

“No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations can make everything very painful again, as if you had received the news a few seconds ago. So on this day, (my wife) Jill and I hold them close to our hearts,” he said. EFE


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