Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Nation & World

18 years later, America vows to ‘never forget’ 9/11

“It’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over. The last kiss. The last phone call. The last time hearing those precious words, ‘I love you,’” President Donald Trump said.
A woman stands next to the north pool prior to a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 at the National September 11 Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
A woman stands next to the north pool prior to a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 at the National September 11 Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) [MARK LENNIHAN | AP]
Published Sep. 11, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — People who were too young on 9/11 to even remember their lost loved ones, and others for whom the grief is still raw, paid tribute with wreath-layings and the solemn roll call of the dead Wednesday as America marked the 18th anniversary of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil.

“Eighteen years. We will not forget. We cannot forget,” Bud Salter, who lost his sister, Catherine, said at ground zero.

President Donald Trump laid a wreath at the Pentagon, telling victims’ relatives: “This is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss.”

“It’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over. The last kiss. The last phone call. The last time hearing those precious words, ‘I love you,’” the president said.

Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the third site where planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Mike Pence credited the crew and passengers who fought back against the hijackers with protecting him and others in the U.S. Capitol that day.

“I will always believe that I and many others in our nation’s capital were able to go home that day and hug our families because of the courage and selflessness of your families,” said Pence, who was an Indiana congressman at the time. Officials concluded the attackers had been aiming the plane toward Washington.

After reading part of the long list of names, Parboti Parbhu choked up as she spoke from the ground zero podium about her slain sister, Hardai. Even after nearly two decades, “There’s no easy way to say goodbye,” she said.

By now, the heritage of grief has been handed down to a new generation, including children and young adults who knew their lost relatives barely or not at all.

Jacob Campbell was 10 months old when his mother, Jill Maurer-Campbell, died on 9/11.

“It’s interesting growing up in a generation that doesn’t really remember it. I feel a connection that no one I go to school with can really understand,” Campbell, a University of Michigan sophomore, said as he attended the ceremony.

Like the families, the nation is still grappling with the aftermath of Sept. 11. The effects are visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan, where the post-9/11 U.S. invasion has become America’s longest war. The aim was to dislodge Afghanistan’s then-ruling Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader and Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Earlier this week, Trump called off a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghan government leaders and declared the peace talks “dead.” As the Sept. 11 anniversary began in Afghanistan, a rocket exploded at the U.S. Embassy just after midnight, with no injuries reported.

Al-Qaida’s current leader used the anniversary to call for more attacks on the U.S. and other targets.

In New York, Nicholas Haros Jr., who lost his mother, Frances, reminded the audience of the al-Qaida attackers and tore into Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota over her recent “Some people did something” reference to 9/11.

“Our constitutional freedoms were attacked, and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian values was attacked. That’s what ‘some people’ did. Got that now?” he said to applause.

Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, has said she didn’t intend to minimize what happened on Sept. 11, and accused critics of taking her words out of context. She tweeted Wednesday that “September 11th was an attack on all of us.”

The dead included Muslims, as Zaheda Rahman underscored after reading names at ground zero. She called her uncle, Abul Chowdhury, a “proud Muslim-American man who lived his life with a carefree nature, a zeal for adventure and a tenacity which I emulate every single day.”

Others made a point of spotlighting the suffering of firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after being exposed to the smoke and dust at ground zero.

A compensation fund for people with potentially Sept. 11-related health problems has paid out more than $5.5 billion so far. More than 51,000 people have applied. Over the summer, Congress made sure the fund won’t run dry. The sick also gained new recognition this year at the World Trade Center site, where a memorial glade was dedicated this spring.

Sept. 11 has become known also as a day of service. People around the country volunteer at food banks, schools, home-building projects, park cleanups and other community events around the anniversary.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Two firms have acquired majority ownership of Univision Communications Inc., the largest provider of Spanish-language television in the U.S. [Miami Herald]
  2. Tourists take pictures of the Olympics rings Monday, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) [JAE C. HONG  |  AP]
  3. In this June 17, 2019, file photo, a cashier displays a packet of tobacco-flavored Juul pods at a store in San Francisco. Investigators from 39 states will look into the marketing and sales of vaping products by Juul Labs, including whether the company targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in its devices, officials announced Tuesday. Juul released a statement saying it has halted television, print and digital advertising and eliminated most flavors in response to concerns by government officials and others.  (AP Photo/Samantha Maldonado, File) [SAMANTHA MALDONADO  |  AP]
  4. In this Feb. 19 photo, from left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. [JOHN LOCHER  |  AP]
  5. In this Feb. 23, 2020 photo, Abdullah Mohammed plays with his daughter, three-year-old Salwa, inside a house he recently fled to, near the Syrian-Turkish border, in Sarmada, Syria. Mohammed would do anything for his daughter, even if that means forcing himself to laugh with her at the sound of exploding bombs, to help her overcome her fear. Mohammed and Salwa became an overnight celebrity after a video they shot spread on social media, widely shared as a reminder of the horrors faced by children in Syria. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed) [GHAITH.ALSAYED  |  AP]
  6. In this Feb. 19, 2020 file photo Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a rally before his dad and President Donald Trump appears in Phoenix. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Monday, confirmed that Trump Jr. applied for and received a permit to hunt for a grizzly bear in 2020 in game management units north and east of Nome.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri,File) [RICK SCUTERI  |  AP]
  7. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during First in the South Dinner, Monday, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) [MATT ROURKE  |  AP]
  8. Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life for her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Monday, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
  9. This undated file photo provided by Group 3 Aviation shows helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan standing outside a helicopter, at a location not provided. Zobayan violated federal flight rules in 2015 when he flew into busy airspace near Los Angeles International Airport despite being ordered not to by air traffic control, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration obtained by the Los Angeles Times. (Group 3 Aviation via AP, File) [AP]
  10. FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 file photo, agents for Customs and Border Protection board a Greyhound bus headed for Portland, Ore., at the Spokane Intermodal Center, a terminal for buses and Amtrak, in Spokane, Wash. Greyhound, the nation's largest bus company, says it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks. The company announced the change Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, one week after The Associated Press reported on a leaked Border Patrol memo confirming that agents can't board private buses without the consent of the bus company. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios,File) [NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS  |  AP]
  11. Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives for an initial court appearance Monday, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, on a new set of charges alleging that he lied to police about being targeted in a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago early last year.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) [CHARLES REX ARBOGAST  |  AP]
  12. Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP) [UWE ZUCCHI  |  AP]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement