NEW YORK — Leaders, government ministers and other dignitaries from more than 120 countries and international organizations headed to ground zero Monday for a U.N. commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The U.N. said more than 300 people went to the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum for the ceremony. Memorial President Alice Greenwald called it “a powerful demonstration of global solidarity” with terror victims.
The visitors included Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen; Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades; Guyanese President Irfaan Ali; Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda; Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Zeljko Komsic, the Croat representative in Bosnia’s multiethnic presidency.
They are in New York for this week’s big meeting at the U.N. General Assembly, about four miles (6.5 km) from the site where two hijacked planes plowed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Ultimately, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 countries were killed at the trade center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares urged those gathered at Monday’s tribute to “restate our commitment towards our common collaboration to fight against terrorism and in favor of the victims” as he and the U.N.’s top counterterrorism official, Vladimir Voronkov, laid wreaths.