September 11: The United States commemorates the victims of the attacks
(See Translation in Arabic Section)
US President Joe Biden, former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and victims' families stood in unity to mark the anniversary of the nation's worst terror attacks on Saturday.
The Presidents and their wives stood side-by-side, wearing blue ribbons and holding a hand over their hearts to honour the heroes who lost their lives at the National September 11 Memorial Plaza in New York.
The first moment of silence was observed at 8:46am (local time), when the first plane, Flight 11, struck the World Trade Centre's North Tower 20 years ago.
At 9:03am, attendees stood again to mark the moment Flight 175 crashed into the south face of the South Tower.
At 9:37am, Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 184 people in the plane and on the ground.
At 9:59am, the South Tower of the World Trade Centre collapsed, 56 minutes after the impact of flight 175.
At 10:03am, the fourth plane, Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
At 10:28am, the North Tower of the World Trade Centre collapsed, 1 hour and 42 minutes after the impact of Flight 11.
Speaking at the Flight 93 memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, reflected on the bravery of those passengers.
"In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people," he said.
"When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.
He added: "So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together."
US President Joe Biden praised former President George W Bush for his "genuinely good speech", which promoted American unity, reminding the world "about who we are".
“It’s not a joke, they think because the world is changing so rapidly and people are so divided you can’t bring people together in a democracy to get a consensus,” Mr Biden said.
“And the only ones who are going to be able to succeed are the autocrats.”
Mr Biden said this is the reason why it’s so "damn important" Americans demonstrate unity by coming together because "that’s the thing that’s going to affect our well-being more than anything else how the rest of the world responds to us".
"At the first memorial ceremony, my wife Bobbie and I stood here with thousands of family members right in the midst of a gray and black world of destroyed buildings," Mike Low, who's daughter Sara was a flight attendant on the first plane that struck the North Tower, said.
"Today, this is a quiet place of memory; the gleaming 9/11 museum holds a sacred repository for our loved ones' remains, and it is filled with bright stories of all of the sons and daughters, siblings, husbands and wives, grandparents and friends.
"As we carry these 20 years forward, I find continuing appreciation for all of those who rose to be more than ordinary people. And a father's pride in his daughter's selfless act in the last moments of her life, acting with heroic calm to help those in the air and those on the ground. A legacy from Sara that burns like an eternal flame."