Terrorism failed to shake our belief in freedom: Johnson

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ’s address to commemorate victims of 9/11 attacks will be played at a memorial event at the Olympic Park in east London today, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attacks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the terrorists behind attacks in the United States failed “to shake our belief in freedom and democracy.”

In a message to mark the 20th anniversary, the prime minister said that while the terror threat remained, people refused “to live in permanent fear”, the BBC reported.

“That we are coming together today – in sorrow but also in faith and resolve – demonstrates the failure of terrorism.”

 Johnson
A woman mourns the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Qin Lang/IANS)

On September 11, 2001, the United States faced the deadliest terrorist attack in its history. A total of 2,977 people were killed in the terror attacks. In a span of just 102 minutes, both towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed after planes hijacked by Al Qaeda operatives crashed into them.

In the prime minister’s address, which will be played at a memorial event at the Olympic Park in east London on Saturday, he said recent events in Afghanistan had only strengthened people’s belief in freedom and democracy.

“Twenty years ago, September 11 2001 became, in President Roosevelt’s words after Pearl Harbor, a ‘date which will live in infamy’,” the BBC quoted Johnson as saying.

“On a crystal clear morning, terrorists attacked the United States with the simple goal of killing or maiming as many human beings as possible, and by inflicting such bloodshed in the world’s greatest democracy, they tried to destroy the faith of free peoples everywhere in the open societies which terrorists despise and which we cherish.”

He said that “precisely because of the openness and tolerance of the United States” almost every nationality and religion were among those murdered that day, the report quoted Johnson.

“But while the terrorists imposed their burden of grief and suffering, and while the threat persists today, we can now say with the perspective of 20 years that they failed to 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attacks, commemorated the lives of 2,977 people who lost their lives on the day twenty years ago.

“To the families of 2,977 people from more than 90 nations killed on September 11, 2001, in New York City, Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania and a thousand more who were injured. America commemorates you and your loved ones,” Biden said in a video message posted on the Twitter account of the US President.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua/IANS)

He also said this tragedy highlights how even at our most vulnerable, unity is our greatest strength.

Biden also lauded forces who risked and gave their lives in and after the attacks.

“We honour the firefighters, police officers, EMTs and construction workers, doctors and nurses, faith leaders, service members, and all of the everybody people who gave their all to rescue, recover and rebuild,” he added.

Earlier, the White House informed that Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

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