President Biden urges 'national unity' 22 years after 9/11

© Saul Loeb, AFP

President Joe Biden called Monday for Americans to unite despite bitter political differences as the United States marked the 22nd anniversary of Al-Qaeda's 9/11 attacks.

Bells were rung and the names of nearly 3,000 people were read out in somber ceremonies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania where the hijacked planes struck.

"Let's honor September 11 by renewing our faith in one another," said Biden, speaking at a US military base in Anchorage, Alaska as he traveled back from a trip to India and Vietnam.

"We must never lose our sense of national unity, so let that be the common cause of our time."

Speaking in front of a huge flag, Biden added that "terrorism, including political and ideological violence, is the opposite of all we stand for as a nation."

His speech comes as the United States is increasingly polarized, with tensions likely to increase as Biden, a Democrat, heads into a likely election rematch next year with Republican former president Donald Trump.

Trump has been indicted four times since April, including for efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, with the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack by his supporters still fresh in the public's memory.

'Never forget'

"The soul of America is the fortitude we found in the fear of that terrible September day," he added.


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