The “ripple effect of Sept. 11 is unfathomable,” said Gordon Felt, the president of the Families of Flight 93 at an observance ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks.
“We must never forget that there are thousands … gravely injured or that have lost their lives while serving, or as a result of their service during these past 20 years,” Felt said.
Felt’s brother, Edward, was among the passengers who died in the crash of Flight 93.
“To date, an additional 2,000 first responders that took part in [the] immediate rescue and continued recovery efforts have died from related illnesses, and with every month, we continue to lose more,” Felt said.
Felt echoed the calls of fellow victims’ families urging government officials to release classified information related to the attack.
“There are still many questions to be answered about the day, facts to be declassified and released, and justice to be served,” Felt said.
Some context: Last week, President Biden ordered a new declassification review of documents related to the attacks, including the previously classified documents related to Saudi Arabia’s involvement.
“The real question that we must all ask ourselves is: Have we as a society moved on and left the hard-earned lessons of Sept. 11 behind?” Felt said. “Have we become desensitized to what really happened that fateful morning?”
“Let us remember who we became on Sept. 12,” he said.
“In the aftermath of Sept. 11, we saw beyond our differences, so that in unity we could survive the devastation of the day,” Felt said. “E pluribus unum — out of many, we became one.”