Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
On Saturday, in what has become an annual tradition of somber remembrance, communities across the nation will reflect on the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The more prominent of these ceremonies will be found at the three locations at which the attacks were felt most acutely – the site of the former World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are schedule to visit each of the three attack locations, while Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Shanksville and the Pentagon.
Last week, President Biden signed an executive order requiring the declassification of documents related to the Sept. 11 attacks, after being pressured to do so by the 9/11 victims’ families.
“When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America,” Biden said in a statement at the time. “As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment.”
This was not a declassification of all documents related to the attack, but it did severely limit government agencies’ ability to restrict access to Sept. 11 information. The executive order contains language that allows agencies to restrict only those documents that “reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security”.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York will host a ceremony Saturday that will begin at 8:30 a.m. EST and continue well into the evening.
Former President George W. Bush will be the keynote speaker at this event, which will also feature family members reading the names of the loved ones who they lost in 2001.
The ceremony will feature six moments of silence to correspond with the time of morning when each tower was struck and fell, as well as when the Pentagon was hit and Flight 93 crash-landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Typically, church bells across the nation ring in conjunction with the moments of silence.
The museum will conduct its annual “Tribute in Light”, the production of twin beams where once the Twin Towers stood, from sundown to sunlight.
The Pentagon ceremony, which will be hosted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, will begin at 9 a.m. EST.
At the Flight 93 National Memorial, which has hosted Sept. 11 commemoration events since Tuesday. a limited-access memorial service will begin at 9:45 a.m. EST.
At 10:03 a.m., the moment Flight 93 crashed, the names of the passengers and crew members will be read followed by the ringing of remembrance bells and a wreath laying.