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As the United States marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that have forever changed life in America, the leaders of U.S. allies are also honoring the lives lost during the attacks, offering sympathies and remembering the legacies left behind.
In a message to President Biden and the United States, Queen Elizabeth II said she remembers the “terrible attacks” on both New York and Washington, D.C., 20 years ago, and paid tribute to those who died.
“My thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty,” she said in her official statement.
The queen also reflected on her visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2010, saying it’s a memory that is forever “held fast in [her] memory.”
“It reminds me that as we honor those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild,” she said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a video statement, saying terrorists have failed to drive the nations apart and “shake our belief in freedom and democracy.”
“They failed to drive our nations apart, or cause us to abandon our values, or to live in permanent fear,” Johnson said. “The fact that we are coming together today — in sorrow, but also in faith and resolve — demonstrates the failure of terrorism.”
Acting ambassador to the United Kingdom Philip Reeker attended a special changing of the guard at Windsor Castle, where the U.S. national anthem was performed. Reeker says that Americans would be “forever grateful” for the “enduring friendship” between the two countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron is also remembering the Sept. 11 attacks, posting a video on Twitter with a caption that translates to, “We will #NeverForget. We will always fight for freedom.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas released a statement on the morning of the anniversary, saying that his country will never “forget that fateful day.”
“We mourn with those who lost friends and relatives that day and those who were seriously injured or traumatized,” Maas said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his deepest condolences to President Biden and the U.S., reflecting on the shock and the memory 20 years later.
“We believe in peace and inclusiveness of any violence. I know I can’t get over it. This tragedy will never happen again it shouldn’t happen,” Moon said.