US President Joe Biden (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
The President’s appeal for unity comes at a time when the US is facing rising instances of hate crimes. According to a report by the FBI, hate crimes against African and Asian Americans surged in the past one year, while xenophobia against American Muslims continue to persist
United States President Joe Biden called on the Americans to show unity as the country prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attacks, President Biden honors the lives of those we lost and highlights how even at our most vulnerable – unity is our greatest strength.pic.twitter.com/TdVhw9TVpb— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 10, 2021
Speaking in a six-minute recording at the White House that was shared on the official Twitter handle on Friday, Biden said, “To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11. It’s that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength.”
The President’s appeal for unity comes at a time when the US is facing rising instances of hate crimes. According to a report by the FBI, hate crimes against African and Asian Americans surged in the past one year.
Moreover, hate crimes against Arab Americans, Muslims and others perceived as Arab or Muslim had also surged post the 9/11 attacks. And while they have subsided in recent years, the numbers have never returned to levels seen before the attacks, the FBI data shows. More recently, the United States has also seen a rise in anti-Semitic discrimination.
“Unity doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing, but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation," Biden said in the video.
On Saturday, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit New York City—where two airliners destroyed the World Trade Center and killed around 2,700 people—the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia—where a third airliner crashed—and Shanksville, Pennsylvania—where passengers forced down a fourth aircraft believed to have been headed to the U.S. Capitol or White House.
Joe Biden will then be joined at Ground Zero in New York by former president Barack Obama, whom he served for two terms as vice-president.
Small memorial ceremonies will be held across the US, and millions are expected to tune in to coverage that will blanket the TV networks throughout the day.
There will be six moments of silence during the ceremony, marking the moment each tower was struck and the time each fell, as well as the moment when the Pentagon was attacked, and the time that Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers stopped it from reaching its likely intended target of the US Capitol.
As three of the four most recent US presidents attend official ceremonies, Donald Trump will also reportedly visit the 9/11 memorial on Saturday afternoon, once the ceremony has finished and after Biden has left the city.
(With inputs from agencies)