Twenty years after the Sept. 11 attacks resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 people, entertainment, media and political figures are marking the day with reflections, remembrances and tributes across social media.
Various posts to Twitter and Instagram on Saturday commemorate 9/11 victims and first responders. Messages offer condolences to those who lost loved ones and weigh in on how the event changed both New York City and America forever. In addition to the messages, many posts featured images of the 9/11 Memorial as well as the two beams of light — which consist of 88 actual light beams — that rise from the Lower Manhattan memorial each September.
Current president Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama both shared messages in remembrance of that day, with Biden tweeting, “Twenty years ago, nearly 3,000 lives were cut short by an unspeakable act of cowardice and hatred on 9/11. As a nation, we must never forget those we lost during one of the darkest moments in our history and the enduring pain of their families and loved ones.”
Obama’s statement was lengthier, acknowledging “the heroes who have always run towards danger to do what’s right” before continuing, “9/11 reminded us of how so many Americans give of themselves in extraordinary ways — not just in moments of great crisis, but every single day. Let’s never forget that and let’s never take them for granted.”
Actor Mark Wahlberg shared an image of the 9/11 memorial at night, writing, “20 years ago but feels like yesterday. We are all forever changed. Thinking of those who are gone and their loved ones missing them now and always.”
On Twitter, Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed that the attackers “tried their best to divide us, and they failed” before writing that while the Towers fell, “in a testament to them, we rose together.” “Today we mourn the victims and honor the heroes of a day that darkened our skies broke our hearts 20 years ago. We found our way to the light and mended our hearts through our unity,” he wrote.
Will & Grace star Debra Messing reflected on the “horror and pain” of that day. “20 years ago our great city, our country was attacked. Hate took almost 3,000 of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, loved ones. The horror and pain is alive every day, but particularly today. It’s nearly impossible to believe it has been 20 years. Please keep all who lost someone that terrible day, in your hearts and prayers.
Frozen voice actor and Broadway star Josh Gad tweeted about the surrealness of the day twenty years ago and the continued mourning for those who died. “It never stops being surreal. It never stops being painful. It never stops being a reminder to live every day like it’s your last and celebrate the beauty of life,” he said. “Today I mourn all those lost and honor all those who risked their lives to save one life at a time.”
Actress Kate Hudson wrote on Intsagram, “It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since this devastating event in our history. Being in the city right now brings back so many memories. Everyone remembers where they were: when they got the call or seeing it on the news. Those of us who were living in New York saw a different city. A city in mourning yet together. Working together, supporting each other no matter what their beliefs, politics or economics.”
She continued, “Those who lived downtown experienced such sadness from their local fire departments and police departments losing so many comrades. It was confusing and sad but New York showed up in its greatest form as it always does to help everyone get through it. To all of the families remembering their loved ones today, I share with you my love and condolences.”
Journalist Katie Couric shared footage on her Instagram of her time reporting on the attacks as co-host of Today. “September 11th, 2001. 8:46 AM. I have never felt a greater sense of responsibility as I did that day,” she wrote in the caption. “Today I’m remembering those we lost on 9/11, and keeping those they loved and who loved them in my heart. What do you remember from that day? I will.”
Former evening news anchor Dan Rather tweeted, “20 years… Yes, it is a long time, but also an instant in the history of our species. Our duty, when we have life, is to remember the past, learn from it, honor it, but use it to reimagine the future.”
Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly remembered the experience of watching the towers fall while completing NASA training on a ship in the Black Sea.”20 years ago today I was on a Russian Navy ship in the Black Sea for NASA training. The visceral images of the towers falling are as real today as they were then,” he wrote.
The Sesame Street Twitter account also shared an emotional message that focused on the resilience and hope found in New York City following the tragedy. “20 years ago, the city we love showed us its resilience, strength, and hope. To everyone affected on that day or in its aftermath, wherever you are, we are here for you.”
Twenty years ago, nearly 3,000 lives were cut short by an unspeakable act of cowardice and hatred on 9/11. As a nation, we must never forget those we lost during one of the darkest moments in our history and the enduring pain of their families and loved ones.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 11, 2021
Today we honor the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who died on September 11, 2001, and the heroes who have always run towards danger to do what’s right. Let’s never forget that day, and let’s never take them for granted. pic.twitter.com/VkN11wZAMh
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 11, 2021
Twenty years on. We will never forget. pic.twitter.com/4sClbwUNW5
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 11, 2021
Will never forget this day. Will never forget the lives lost. Sending love and prayers to the familes and loved ones of the fallen. 💔❤🙏🏿 #NeverForget
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 11, 2021
My prayers go out to all the families that lost their loves ones on this day 20 years ago. We will #neverforget. Forever in our hearts.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) September 11, 2021
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) September 11, 2021
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) September 11, 2021
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) September 11, 2021
Flying on 9/11, remembering all those folks who never got a chance to arrive at their destinations 20 years ago.
The morning after @SModcastle hosted Steve Buscemi for a @FriendsOfFF benefit, and after 2 months in which the Garden State gave us CLERKS III, I’m going back to Cali. pic.twitter.com/wDwdksknMX
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) September 11, 2021
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 11, 2021
It never stops being surreal. It never stops being painful. It never stops being a reminder to live every day like it’s your last and celebrate the beauty of life. Today I mourn all those lost and honor all those who risked their lives to save one life at a time. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/XjLUZVLfng
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) September 11, 2021
Today we remember all those who tragically lost their lives on 9/11. We also pay tribute to the brave first responders who rushed to help those in need and to our courageous military personnel who, in the wake of 9/11, served and sacrificed so greatly in defense of our nation.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) September 11, 2021
20 years ago, the city we love showed us its resilience, strength, and hope. To everyone affected on that day or in its aftermath, wherever you are, we are here for you. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/W4zhoOJz5T
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) September 11, 2021
Remembering those who lost their lives and those whose lives were forever changed on this day 20 years ago. Never forget. pic.twitter.com/1h1vWVU0X2
— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) September 11, 2021
Still astonished by how many innocent people were lost in an instant, gone forever but never to be forgotten. Thinking of all the families still mourning their loved ones 20 years after that devastating and tragic moment in our history. #NeverForget
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) September 11, 2021
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) September 11, 2021
20 years… Yes, it is a long time, but also an instant in the history of our species. Our duty, when we have life, is to remember the past, learn from it, honor it, but use it to reimagine the future. Steady. (full thoughts at this link) https://t.co/vquV7pJueb
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 11, 2021
20 years ago today I was on a Russian Navy ship in the Black Sea for NASA training. The visceral images of the towers falling are as real today as they were then.
It was a day of crisis, but despite our differences we came together as a united nation.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) September 11, 2021
The Queen’s message to the President of the United States on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on 11th September 2001. pic.twitter.com/jsdH4X50Ao
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 11, 2021