9/11 20th Anniversary Ceremony Limited to Family Members Only, Leaves Out First Responders

by Samantha Whidden

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum recently declared that the 20th-anniversary ceremony is officially happening. But this year’s event will only be exclusively for the 9/11 victims’ families. The first responders and survivors of the terrorist attack are not receiving invitations.

According to the Memorial and Museum’s latest statement, the 9/11 20th Anniversary program will commence at 8:30 a.m., and the first moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m. The event will observe a total of six moments of silence. Each moment is for when the World Trade Center Towers were hit and fell, along with the attacks at the Pentagon and Flight 93’s crash. Access to the Memorial will begin at 7:00 a.m. on the anniversary. The commemoration is will conclude at approximately 1:00 p.m. 

The 9/11 victims’ family members may use the letter or the email they received for entrance to the ceremony. Only one letter per family. The Memorial spokeswoman, Lee Cochran tells the New York Post that families may bring additional family-member guests.

Nearly 3,000 people died during the 9/11 attacks. American Airlines Flight 11 and U.S. Airlines Flight 175 hit North and South towers. Meanwhile, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. Also, United Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overthrow the hijackers. Osama Bin Laden was named the mastermind behind the attacks. He also claimed responsibility for the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

U.S. Department of Justice to Review 9/11 Documents After Victims’ Families Tell President Biden to Skip Memorial Events 

President Biden is being advised to skip the memorial events if he does not declassify 9/11 documents. CNBC reports that nearly 1,800 9/11 survivors, first responders, and families of victims share with the President there is no reason to not disclose the information in those documents. The documents also detail Saudi Arabia’s role in the event. The group further states that nearly 25,000 pages of documents have not been declassified. 

Also according to CNBC, the Department of Justice announced it plans to conduct a new review on the files related to the 9/11 attacks for a possible public release. President Biden says that his administration is committing to ensure the maximum degree of transparency under U.S. laws. He also supports the Department’s decision to investigate.

“We must never forget the enduring pain of the families and loved ones of the 2,977 innocent people who were killed,” Biden says. “For them, 9/11 was not only a national and international tragedy; it was a personal devastation.”

Biden further adds, “My heart and my prayers continue to be with the 9/11 families who are suffering. My Administration will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community. I welcome their voices and insight as we chart a way forward.”

The FBI will also review its prior decisions to withhold as well.