By a joint resolution approved Dec. 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89) has designated Sept. 11 of each year as "Patriot Day," which also directs the flags be lowered to half-staff for the entire day on Sept. 11.
A Proclamation on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2021
Twenty years ago, the United States endured one of the most unconscionable tragedies in our country’s history. The cowardly terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and onboard United Flight 93 cut short the lives of 2,977 innocent people. These attacks tore a hole in the heart of our Nation, and the pain of this tragedy still remains. Each year on this somber date, we remember the horror and bravery shown that day, just as we remember how we came together, united in grief and in purpose. Each year, we renew our solemn vow to never forget what happened on September 11, 2001, or those who lost their lives.
On Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we honor every life that was taken too soon. We honor the first responders — firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and service members — who answered the call of duty, and the brave civilians who rushed into action to save lives that day. Their courage embodies the American spirit and resilience, and their heroism continues to inspire new generations of Americans.
My mother used to say that “courage lies in every heart, and one day it will be summoned.” It was summoned and shown by those who responded to the events on 9/11. First responders, emergency workers, and civilians ran to where the devastation was the greatest, where death came in an instant but where there were survivors to be found; a determined group of heroes onboard United Flight 93 sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others — in every case, Americans faced the unimaginable with resolve and courage. Today and every day, we draw hope from the strength and selflessness of those who stepped up to serve their fellow man and our Nation on that tragic day.
We also remember the patriotism and valor of our service members who pursued our attackers, delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, and degraded al-Qa’ida. We will keep our sacred obligation to care for our service members and veterans who served in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors.
Over the last two decades the American people have demonstrated that the harder the circumstances, the more resilient and stronger we become. Our shared love of country and our shared values — regardless of race, gender, religion, origin, or economic status — unite us as Americans against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Today, on this Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we move forward as one Nation, united by our common goal of liberty and justice for all. We remember those killed on September 11, 2001, and honor them through acts of service. I encourage all Americans to visit americorps.gov/911-day to learn about and seek opportunities to serve others on this day and to demonstrate once again that the ideals we hold, which many have tried to attack and destroy, are the very bonds that hold us together — even tighter in times of peril.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day,” and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized “National Day of Service and Remembrance.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2021, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and its Territories and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
A Proclamation on National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2021
Twenty years ago, our Nation was forever changed. On September 11, 2001, as ordinary people started their days in Manhattan, Shanksville, and Arlington, cowardly acts born out of twisted hate stole 2,977 innocent lives, devastating families and communities. People across the world were shocked by the cruelty and horror of the terrorist act, even as they were inspired by the bravery of the first responders. Two decades have passed since that day of terror, yet the trauma, the pain, and the quest for justice — both personal and collective — still haunt our memories. Planes piercing buildings. Smoke filling skies. Towers turning to dust. The injured fleeing to safety. The heroes rushing toward danger.
During the National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we honor those who lost their lives on September 11 — lives that will never be forgotten. We also commemorate the humanity and selfless sacrifice of the first responders, service members, and ordinary citizens who banded together to rescue survivors and build a community of support around those who suffered unimaginable loss. Even as we continue to recover from this tragedy, we know for certain that there is nothing that America cannot overcome. Through sorrow, with God’s help, we find strength. Through remembrance, in God’s mercy, we find healing. We move forward with resolve, forever cherishing the memories of the souls who perished that day.
The seeds of chaos, planted that September by those who wished to harm us, blossomed instead into fields of hope for a brighter future. A new generation of patriots — many of whom were just children on that bright September morning, some of whom had not yet been born — now serve in our Armed Forces, as law enforcement officers and firefighters, as paramedics, in the halls of our Federal buildings, and beyond, determined to build our country back better, safer, and more united.
During these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we solemnly reflect on the freedom and tolerance that are part of our American character. We commit to preserving the memories of our fallen loved ones with the same tenacity with which we uphold the American values that are the root of our strength. We pray for the victims and all those who still mourn their loss. May the power of prayer bring comfort, and may God bless the United States of America.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 10, 2021, through September 12, 2021, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in prayers for spiritual guidance, mercy, and protection.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
Below is a timeline of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001:
7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, takes off from Boston's Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.
8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard, takes off from Boston; it is also headed to Los Angeles.
8:19 am – Flight attendants aboard Flight 11 alert ground personnel that the plane has been hijacked; American Airlines notifies the FBI.
8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.The Boeing 757 is headed to Los Angeles with 64 people aboard.
8:24 am – Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes the first of two accidental transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control (apparently in an attempt to communicate with the plane's cabin).
8:40 am – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)'s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. In response, NEADS scrambles two fighter planes located at Cape Cod's Otis Air National Guard Base to locate and tail Flight 11; they are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.
8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.
8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
8:47 am – Within seconds, NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Center, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin immediate evacuation of the North Tower.
8:50 am – White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Center; the president is visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida at the time.
9:02 am – After initially instructing tenants of the WTC's South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers via the public address system; an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are already in the process of evacuating.
9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC's South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building
9:08 am – The FAA bans all takeoffs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.
9:21 am – The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
9:24 am – The FAA notified NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an "apparent terrorist attack on our country."
9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.
9:42 am – For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States. Some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to airports in Canada and the United States over the next two-and-a-half hours.
9:45 am – Amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated (along with numerous other high-profile buildings, landmarks and public spaces).
9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
10:28 am – The World Trade Center's North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.
11 am – Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, including more than 1 million residents, workers and tourists, as efforts continue throughout the afternoon to search for survivors at the WTC site.
1 pm – From a U.S. Air Force base in Louisiana, President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.
2:51 pm – The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.
5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives.
6:58 pm – President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.
8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks "evil, despicable acts of terror" and declaring that America, its friends and allies would "stand together to win the war against terrorism."