September 11, 2020, 07.08 PM

NEW YORK, KOMPAS.com - The US presidential election and coronavirus pandemic has altered the way Americans are commemorating 9/11 this year.

President Donald Trump and his opponent in the November election Joe Biden paid respects to the September 11 victims at the same memorial without crossing paths.

A dispute over coronavirus-linked safety precautions is leading to remembrances in two locations Friday.

One is at the September 11 Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner.

Read also: Joe Biden Endorsed by US Democrats to Face Donald Trump in November Election

The Pentagon’s observance of the 9/11 attacks will be highly restricted that victims’ families will not be allowed to attend though small groups can visit the memorial there later in the day.

Trump and Biden are both headed — at different times — to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Trump is speaking at the morning ceremony, the White House said.

Biden plans to pay respects there in the afternoon after attending the observance at the 9/11 memorial in New York.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is also due at ground zero — and then at the alternate ceremony a few blocks away.

Read also: Mike Pence Warns US Republicans: “You Won’t Be Safe” under Joe Biden

In short, the anniversary of 9/11 is a complicated occasion in a maelstrom of a year, as the US grapples with a health crisis, searches its soul over racial injustice, and prepares to choose a leader to chart a path forward.

Still, 9/11 families say it's important for the nation to pause and remember the hijacked-plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the trade center, at the Pentagon, and near Shanksville on September 11, 2001, shaping American policy, perceptions of safety, and daily life in places from airports to office buildings.

Read also: Indonesia Reopens Flights to Wuhan and Other Chinese Destinations

“I know that the heart of America beats on 9/11 and, of course, thinks about that tragic day. I don’t think that people forget,” says Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John and is now on the board of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Friday will mark Trump's second time observing the 9/11 anniversary at the Flight 93 memorial, where he made remarks in 2018.

Biden spoke at the memorial’s dedication in 2011 when he was vice president.

The ground zero ceremony in New York has a longstanding custom of not allowing politicians to speak, though they can attend.

Biden did so as Vice President in 2010, and Trump as a candidate in 2016.

Though the candidates will be focused on the commemorations, the political significance of their focus on Shanksville is hard to ignore: Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both.

Trump won it by less than a percentage point in 2016.

Around the country, some communities have canceled September 11 commemorations because of the pandemic, while others are going ahead, sometimes with modifications.

Read also: Trump Admitted Playing Down Covid-19 Danger in Bob Woodward Recordings

The New York memorial is changing one of its ceremony's central traditions: having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes. Thousands of family members are still invited.

But they'll hear a recording of the names from speakers spread around the vast plaza, a plan that memorial leaders felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

But some victims' relatives felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact.

A different 9/11-related group, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, set up its own, simultaneous ceremony a few blocks away, saying there's no reason that people can't recite names while keeping a safe distance.

The two organizations also tussled over the Tribute in Light, a pair of powerful beams that shine into the night sky near the trade center and evoke its fallen twin towers.

The September 11 memorial initially canceled the display, citing virus-safety concerns for the installation crew.

After the Tunnel to Towers Foundation vowed to put up the lights instead, the memorial changed course with help from its chairman, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Tunnel to Towers, meanwhile, arranged to display single beams for the first time at the Shanksville memorial and the Pentagon.

Over the years, the anniversary also has become a day for volunteering.

Because of the pandemic, the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance organization is encouraging people this year to make donations or take other actions that can be accomplished at home. 

(Writer: Jennifer Peltz) 

Source: https://apnews.com/345f9f209df2205633f00078e23e88d7 

Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.



Latest Video Video Lainnya >

Comment wisely and responsibly. Comments are entirely the responsibility of the commentator as regulated in the ITE Law
Report
Thank You! We have received your report. We will remove comments that conflict with the Community Guidelines and the ITE Law.

More Headlines

News
November 24, 2022, 05.14 PM

Malaysia: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim Named PM

News
November 18, 2022, 10.31 PM

Indonesia Reports over 6,600 Daily Covid-19 Cases

News
November 18, 2022, 09.57 PM

6.9-Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Western Indonesia

Business
November 17, 2022, 05.34 PM

Indonesia, China Renew Economic and Trade Expansion Pact

Close Ads