Mourners hug as they participate in a ceremony attended by survivors, the families of victims and first responders marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center site in New York City, New York, U.S., September 11, 2021.
👉The horrors of September 11, 2001, unfolded in just under 102 minutes. On that day, 2,996 people died in the worst terrorist attack in modern history.
What followed was 19 years, 10 months, three weeks and two days of war in Afghanistan, with the Department of Defense counting at least 2,325 American military deaths. No one knows exactly how many civilians were killed.
On September 11, 2021, President Joe Biden will try to draw a line under those twin tragedies, paying his respects at the three sites, whose fiery suffering set alight America’s longest war.
On Friday, the president released a video honoring those killed or injured in the attacks, their families, and those who worked to rescue survivors. And he called for national unity.
The Global War on Terror, as it was called, stretched well beyond the small central Asian country of Afghanistan — reaching into Iraq and other corners of the globe as distant as Africa. In Iraq, the conflict killed nearly 4,500 U. S. service members and hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Since the controversial decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of August, the Biden administration has made decisive moves to put the last 20 years behind it, by declassifying a trove of documents that may shed light on the events of September 11, and by maintaining a studied distance from the hardline theocratic Taliban government that seized power in Afghanistan as Americans withdrew.