Biden visits 9/11 memorial in Virginia (includes video story)

President Joe Biden attended the 9/11 remembrance event on Sunday at the Pentagon. This event commemorated the 21st anniversary of the terror attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people, including 187 at the Pentagon when one of the planes slammed into the building.

“I know for all those of you who lost someone, 21 years is both a lifetime and no time at all,” Biden said at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s good to remember. These memories help us heal, but they can also open up the hurt and take us back to that moment when the grief was so raw.”

September 11th, 2001 saw the hijacking of four commercial passenger planes by the terrorist group Al-Qaida. The planes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. That last plane was widely believed to be headed to the U.S. Capitol building.

First Lady Jill Biden visited the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. She recalled feeling “scared to death,” thinking of her sister who was a United Airlines flight attendant and not knowing if she was safe. Her husband was a U.S. senator and on an Amtrak train speeding towards Washington. 

Like most people, D.C. resident Dana Cain can recall the moment she heard about the attacks and exactly what she was doing. Dana called the feeling “gut-wrenching,” and “very emotional.” 

“You could just feel the sadness of all the families waiting, anticipating, hoping their loved ones would be found and be okay,” said Cain while visiting the Pentagon memorial site.

As Biden has in several recent speeches, the president ended his remarks by speaking on the importance of securing American democracy.

“So this is a day not only to remember but a day of renewal and resolve for each and every American, in our devotion to this country, to the principles it embodies, to our democracy,” Biden said. “We’ll secure our democracy together as one America, the United States of America. That’s who we are. That’s who your loved ones were and why they gave so much.”

Victoria Duran is an FIU student majoring in Marketing and Interactive+Digital Media at Florida International University. She is passionate, creative, and hopes to pursue a career in the marketing industry.