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Somber Ceremonies Mark 20th Anniversary Of 9/11; FBI Releases First 9/11 Document After Biden Order; U.S. Averaged Over 1,100 COVID- 19 Deaths In Past Week; U.K. Prime Minister To Lay Out COVID-19 Strategy Through Winter; Push To Remove Governor Newsom Enters Final Stretch; Teen Players Square Off In Women's Tennis Championship; Strong Typhoon Chanthu Moving Near Taiwan Coast; Beijing Rides Nationalist Wave, Pursues Crackdowns. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 12, 2021 - 00:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, I'm Michael Holmes, appreciate your company.

Coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, tributes continuing in New York City this hour; beams of light, where the Twin Towers once stood, more than 20 years ago, honoring, those killed, on 9/11.

The final stretch, ahead of California's recall vote. A race that has wide-ranging, national, implications.

And the spectacular battle between two unseeded teenagers, an 18-year old winning the highly coveted U.S. Women's Open.


HOLMES: It was a somber day across America, as the nation stopped to remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on 9/11, exactly 20 years ago.


HOLMES (voice-over): For families of the victims, the tragedy remains a vivid memory, undimmed by time. One by one, the names of the victims read aloud, each one, precious to those who knew them. The grief and the sorrow of so many, captured by a young girl as she spoke directly to the uncle she never met and imagined how he might be today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My uncle, firefighter Christopher Michael Mozzillo, I know you're with us every day, watching over us. And even though I never met you in person, I still miss you a lot.

Mom always tells me all the crazy fun things you did and I'm sure, if you were here, I'd probably be doing them with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: And New York City, right now, two brilliant shafts of light where the Twin Towers once stood in Lower Manhattan.



HOLMES (voice-over): The 20th anniversary ceremonies, also held at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. All of, them attended by the president and first lady. We begin our coverage with CNN's Arlette Saenz, at the White House.



ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden, visiting all three sites of the September 11th, 2001, terror attacks. Marking the 20th anniversary since those attacks, on Saturday.

The president, starting his day in New York City, at Ground Zero. Where he was accompanied at the 9/11 Memorial by former president Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

They stood at that site as each of the names were read of those killed in the terror attack 20 years ago. The president, also stopped in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to lay a wreath at the site where Flight 93 crashed into that rural Pennsylvania field, after some passengers overtook the hijackers who had hoped to land that plane in the Capitol. Instead, it crashed and killed those on board, in Pennsylvania, 20 years ago.

The president, wrapping up his day at the Pentagon, laying a wreath there, with Vice President Kamala Harris. And, in a video, released ahead of the 9/11 remembrances, the president called for a moment of unity.

As he was speaking with reporters on September 11th, he shared the story of how one of his friends lost a loved one, a son, in the tower attacks, in New York City. And he recalled the emotions that many of these families are feeling, on this anniversary. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a tough day for him and for everybody who lost somebody. And, you know, I know you heard me say it before and I'll probably get criticized for saying it again but these memorials are really important.

But they're also incredibly difficult for the people who are affected by them because it brings back the moment they got the phone call. It brings back that instant we got the news, no matter how many years go by.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAENZ: The president, trying to strike some empathy there, on this 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The president, calling many of the actions of people that day, genuine heroism -- Arlette Saenz, CNN, the White House.


HOLMES: The FBI, releasing a newly declassified document, revealing details about its investigation into the September 11th terror attacks and suspected Saudi government support for the hijackers.


HOLMES: The 2016 document describes multiple contacts between the hijackers and several Saudi associates in the U.S. The Saudi government long denying any involvement in the attack and the Saudi embassy previously said, it welcomed the release of the records.

More documents, expected in the days ahead, after President Biden ordered the Justice Department to review, previously, withheld information about the attacks.

Now the war that began in the wake of those deadly attacks has, of course, only just ended for the U.S. Less than two weeks after the final U.S. military withdrawal, Afghanistan's economy is in shambles. Prices are sky-high. Money, cash, is scarce. And many Afghans face an anxious daily reality.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The change of regime has brought disappointment for everyone. Especially the younger generation. And women and the educated class. There are no hopes for their country, their education or their future any longer. They have no faith left. They are in a state of suspense.


HOLMES: The Taliban are seeking international legitimacy and have formed an interim government. But its hardline makeup will complicate normalization. It's unclear how radical their interpretation of sharia law will be this time around.

But one Taliban police chief told CNN, nothing has changed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is no difference between the laws 20 years ago and now. Only back then, the U.S. was too powerful. They were doing a lot of propaganda. All other countries were under the United States.

Therefore, they had made plans for their invasion. There was no other problem. The mujahideen still have the same law. There hasn't been any change to it. Obviously, people change. But that hasn't changed. It is the law of Allah. There is not going to be any change in it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, has reported from Afghanistan. She joins me now, live, from Istanbul.

Arwa, that police commander saying the law will, basically, be the same as 20 years ago, doesn't augur well for the Afghan people. Certainly, it doesn't suggest a more tolerant version of the Taliban, does it?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, Michael. It doesn't. In fact, it's probably many Afghans' worst fears being realized at this moment, especially if you are a young woman, who is, currently, trying to complete her education, wanting to build a future for herself inside her own country.

Not to mention, the impact that this could, potentially, have on young girls, having access to an education at all. This has been one of the many issues over the last few weeks, is it does really seem as if the Taliban does not, yet, have a coherent set of rules or, even, of messaging.

The statements that they're putting out there, because you can hear from one Taliban spokesperson that women and girls, will be allowed to go to school, albeit under a different set of guidelines, separate classrooms, et cetera.

You hear that certain liberties will, perhaps, be allowed to move forward. But then you also hear, that reality that you just played from the Taliban police chief in Mazar-i-Sharif.

And, to be an Afghan and listen to that kind of rhetoric, we cannot even begin to imagine the fear and the psychological impact that has. The way, all of a sudden, so many Afghans just saw their futures and their aspirations, completely and totally, shredded at this point.

The country is in such a state of uncertainty, there is so much humanitarian aid that is needed, countrywide. So for so many, it's not even that it's one day at a time, trying to get through one day at a time, although it is.

But it is also about, psychologically, how do you keep yourself going forward?

If you are a parent, how do you explain all of this to your children at this stage?

I mean, it still, at this stage, at this day, defies all logic, what we have seen transpiring in Afghanistan.

HOLMES: All right, Arwa, thank you so much. Arwa Damon, in Istanbul for us.

Despite some U.S. states showing a decline in recent COVID infections, others are struggling to stay on top of a surge that is taking a devastating toll. The U.S. averaged more than 1,100 COVID deaths, every day, over the last week.

That is according to the Centers for Disease Control. The recent increase, prompting U.S. President, Joe Biden, to lay out a plan on Thursday, for vaccine mandates. He is hoping to curb a spread that has, largely, been driven by the Delta variant and the unvaccinated.



JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My message to unvaccinated Americans is this.

What more is there to wait for?

What more do you need to see?

We have been patient but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.



HOLMES: Arthur Caplan is a professor of bioethics at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine and joins me now.

Thank you for doing so, Professor.

In an ethical context, not just can but should places like schools, workplaces, airlines and so on, require vaccinations when it is for the common good of the broader community?

What are the issues there?

DR. ARTHUR CAPLAN, GROSSMAN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, hi, Michael, thank you for having me. And yes, absolutely, we are in a plague. It goes on, we're well past 1.5 years of it. Worldwide, it is killing millions. It is costing us a fortune, around the world, in hospitalization.

Schools have been closed, kids damaged psychologically and socially from having to quarantine and stay home. The economy is stagnant in many parts of the world and on and on, the misery goes.

We have tried to persuade people to take vaccination; we have tried to incentivize them sometimes with free meals, free drinks, lotteries and so on. But there is a core, particularly, in the U.S., who won't do it.

And it's time to say, you must do it, because you have to protect the weak and the vulnerable in your community, the people who you can't vaccinate, young children, people with immune diseases.

And you got have to be a responsible neighbor in terms of trying to cut down on the transmission. HOLMES: Why do you think so many of the willfully unvaccinated,

because as you point, out not everyone can get vaccinated, the willfully unvaccinated, feel that they are being imposed upon when, in pandemic terms, their refusal to vaccinate is a massive imposition on everyone else.

CAPLAN: For too long, we've allowed the rhetoric of "my body, my choice," my right to decide what I want to do to dominate the pandemic response, particularly, again, in the U.S.

I think President Biden, finally, has stood up and said enough. I have been arguing, for months, that we must shift to the ethical focus away from the rights of the unvaccinated, the willfully unvaccinated, toward the people who are doing the right thing.

The way to reward vaccination is to make sure that you get your liberty. You can work, you can go to recreational activities. You can go to school. You can visit with friends and neighbors.

If you don't vaccinate, I don't think we should force you to sit down and have the vaccine police administer a shot to you but you lose your right to go where you want. To put it quite simply, critics of vaccination have it backwards. It isn't their body, their choice, it is their choice that leads to the loss of freedom for their body.

HOLMES: I think one of the extraordinary parts of this, of course and it's been mentioned often, is that vaccines are, already, mandated for things like polio, smallpox, measles, the list goes on and on.

Why do you think there is debate, at all, on COVID vaccines?

CAPLAN: Michael, it's even worse than that, because many critics of vaccination, particularly legislators in the Southern states of the U.S., keep arguing that it is tyranny, it is an imposition of the central government to require vaccination.

But the person who led the charge on vaccination, just as recently as last year, it was Donald Trump. He was the person who said, the way out of this plague is through vaccination. He ignored masking. He didn't push for testing.

He said, we will put all of our chips down on mass vaccination. So to see the critics, mainly conservatives, take a stance that there, is somehow, something unusual about requiring COVID vaccination, is doubly unbelievable.

You are right; there are many vaccines that are required, in many walks of life, not the least of which children to go to school when we have vaccines for them, for measles and mumps and rubella and so on.

Many, many in the military are quite familiar in the U.S., with mandatory vaccination. Many jobs in the U.S. requiring mandatory vaccination or you can't hold them.

And, president Trump said, this is the way out. So why, at the last minute, I can only say, court politics in a misunderstanding, a fundamental misunderstanding, of what the concept of liberty is all about.

HOLMES: Well put, Professor Arthur Caplan, thanks so much. Good to see you.

CAPLAN: Thank you, Michael.



HOLMES: Now in the coming days, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is expected to lay out England's strategy for managing COVID through the winter.

According to a statement from the prime minister's office, vaccines will continue to be the first line of defense, supported by new treatments, testing and monitoring of variants. Downing Street also said it expects to confirm the details of a vaccination booster program, with plans to begin this month.

California's governor fighting for his political life ahead of Tuesday's recall election. Next, why some Democratic voters believe the race will be close even though they far outnumber Republicans in the state.




HOLMES: Welcome back.

California governor Gavin Newsom is in the final stretch of a fight to keep his job. His fate will be decided at the polls on Tuesday, when the state holds a gubernatorial recall election. President Joe Biden is set to campaign for Newsom before that. As Natasha Chen reports for, us now millions of ballots are already in.



NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 7 million ballots have been cast so far in this recall election, many of them mail-in ballots because every California voter automatically receives one in the mail.

But with just a few days left until the election, there are also early in-person voting centers, like this one in Beverly Hills, available for people to walk in.

Now we talked to voters in this heavily Democratic area, who tell us this election is about preventing a Republican takeover. And what they are seeing in other parts of the country are influencing their decision here in this state election. DANIEL FINK, CALIFORNIA VOTER: Thanks to the deliberate incompetence

of the Republican governors in Texas and Florida -- I'm a grandparent. Our sons are all in their 30s but I'm a grandparent -- where parents are not allowed to protect their children going to school because the governor prohibits mask mandates in the school.

CHEN (voice-over): The people we talked to said they voted no to keep Governor Newsom in office but they also said they don't feel 100 percent confident that will happen.

CHEN: There was caution in their voices as they recognized how much division there is even in a very blue state. Now the ballot has just two questions but it can be confusing for some.

The first question asks voters whether they want to recall Governor Newsom. If the majority of people say no, then he stays in office.

But if the majority says yes, then the second question becomes important. The second question asked voters who should replace Newsom if he is recalled.

And with 46 candidates to choose from, the person with the most votes becomes governor. You can choose a candidate for governor even if you oppose the recall. But Governor Newsom's campaign has been telling supporters to simply leave the second question blank -- back to you.



HOLMES: CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein joins me now.

Ron, let's start with this. Governor Newsom, he's got the overwhelming support of the vaccinated in this race. Tactically, could that translate to the national stage?

Could it be a winning strategy for Democrats pushing the vaccinated narrative over the GOP support for people to not get vaccinated?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that's going to be one of the takeaways from this race, Michael. If you think about the arc of this contest, it's kind of extraordinary and ironic.

The recall got on the ballot in the first place because of the backlash in the most conservative parts of the state against the stringent measures that Governor Newsom put in place to try to deal with the first round of the outbreak in 2020; punctuated, of course, by his hypocritical decision to go to a dinner at a very fancy restaurant when most of the state was still in lockdown.

That's how it got on the ballot. And the proponents of the recall thought they would send a message about the strength of the backlash.

But in the end, in the final weeks, the exact opposite is happening. And what you are seeing is a silent majority of the vaccinated, who are indicating that they want to stay the course with the vaccine mandates and mask mandates that California has put into place.

Two polls in the last week showing that two-thirds of Californians have been vaccinated -- that's over four-fifths of the adults in the state. They are voting against the recall. So I think there could be a very clear message to the Democrats out of this, that there is in effect a silent majority of the vaccinated, who are ready for tougher steps to try to increase the vaccination rates and get this virus finally, finally under control.

HOLMES: Yes, and it could be a political strategy for them as well heading into the midterms.

While all the indicators are moving into governor's favor at the moment, how much of a scare or wake-up call has the process been for Democrats nationally?

BROWNSTEIN: Look, I think what you are seeing is the power of an engaged Republican base that allowed this to get on the ballot in the first place. That is obviously traditionally the biggest risk to the president's party during the midterm elections, is that the party out of the White House is more engaged.

And that was the wake up call in July when that one poll came out showing that the recall was virtually tied among the most likely voters.

But the interesting final turn in this is that Newsom has discovered that standing up for the mandates and warning that Republicans would implement the policies of states like Florida and Texas has awoken the Democrats, what one analyst here called the blue giant.

So say I think the residents of this will not only be about the impact of the mandates on the middle but it does seem to be a motivating issue for the base Democrats and a possible response towards, traditionally, the biggest threat to president's party in the midterm, which is the other side is more engaged and more --


BROWNSTEIN: -- the polls.

HOLMES: It's significant and perhaps a pointer -- I know you've been pointing this out, too, Newsom's opponent, Larry Elder, his website already has a link to a form for supporters to challenge the election results before the vote has even been held.


HOLMES: When you make of that and is it a signal of what may be to come down the line?

BROWNSTEIN: This is what is coming. Republicans have now kind of internalized the idea from 2020 that they should and can challenge any election they lose and claim that Democrats are pursuing fraud.

Donald Trump's argument in the aftermath of the election, when he went down to Georgia, he said, this is our country and they are trying to take it away from us through rigging and stealing.

And if that is your perspective, if you believe that your side, your coalition represents the, quote, "real America," almost by definition any victory by the other side is illegitimate.

So I think Democrats have to recognize that this is what's coming and they face an existential choice in the Senate.

Do they pass a revised version of this legislation called H.R. 1, which is designed to put in place a nationwide floor of voting rights, make it harder to subvert elections and undo a lot of what we are seeing in red state after red state?

Or do Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in effect give Republicans a veto in the Senate over any federal response to what Republicans in the states are doing?

And it's hard to imagine a more consequential choice for a political party. But I think the Elder website gives you an idea of what is coming. And for Democrats to unilaterally disarm in the face of that would really be astounding.

HOLMES: Yes, really shooting themselves in the foot. Ron, good to see you my friend, thanks for that. Ron Brownstein there.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.


HOLMES: Coming up here on the program, how two unseeded teenagers battled their way into the women's U.S. Open tennis final and won the hearts of the sports world. We'll take a look at the victor and discuss with Patrick Snell when we come back.





HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers, here in the United States and all around the world. I am Michael Holmes, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

The women's tennis final at the U.S. Open was billed as the battle of the teenage sensations. Certainly, it was that. The first all-team championship match for the American title since 1999. And it did not disappoint.

In the end, 18-year-old Brit Emma Raducanu won her first grand slam title by defeating 19 year old Canadian, Leylah Fernandez, in straight sets, on Saturday. Both women, had disposed of far more experienced opponents as the tournament progressed, perhaps, just as credible, Raducanu did not drop a set in the entire tournament. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II calling her victory "a remarkable achievement at such a young age."



HOLMES: The Mexican government, getting ready to raffle off luxury homes and real estate confiscated from former drug lords like Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Tickets are $12 each and will help fund social programs for Mexico's poorest citizens. CNN's Rafael Romo shows us some of the luxury properties up for grabs.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): It was announced with great fanfare by the president himself, featuring the beloved and national lottery boys.

It was the beginning of what the Mexican government calls Great Special Lottery 248, A raffle of raffles, featuring not cash prices but luxury real estate property and prime land, across Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).

ROMO (voice-over): The national lottery director says this is the first time they will raffle houses, condominiums and land. There is a total of 22 different properties and some of Mexico's favorite hideaways, including the Vie Acapulco (ph) beach resort, Colonial Tlaquepaque in Jalisco state and some of Mexico City's ritziest neighborhood.

What the president and lottery director didn't mention was that some of these properties used to belong some to Mexico's most notorious citizens, including, Analdo Carrillo Fuentes, who, at one time, was the leader of the infamous Juarez cartel that controlled the vast region just south of the Texas border.

He used to owned the raffle's grand prize, this $3.7 million luxury home, in Mexico City's Pedregal district, featuring four bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a pool, multiple terraces and a large garden.

This house in Culiacan used to belong to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Sinaloa cartel leader, who is serving a life in prison plus 30 years' sentence after being convicted of multiple drug trafficking charges in the United States.


ROMO (voice-over): President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says this is about generating revenue to fund education, health and infrastructure programs for Mexico's poor.

This is not the first time the president organizes a headline grabbing raffle. Last year, Lopez Obrador decided to raffle the $218 million presidential airplane, whose luxury he had decried as a candidate.

ROMO: But what would the average citizen do with that kind of aircraft?

Considering the government tried to sell it before raffling it and failed to do so. The raffle turned into a fiasco when ticket sales were slow and the president was forced to forget about getting rid of the airplane, turning the raffle into multiple cash prizes instead.

ROMO (voice-over): The president promoted again the raffle this week, hoping for better luck and faster ticket sales.


ROMO (voice-over): Winners will be announced on September 15th, just in time to celebrate Mexican independence the following day, when a few lucky Mexicans may be able to party in their new acquired narco mansions -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.


HOLMES: We are tracking a strong typhoon off the coast of Taiwan.


HOLMES: After the break, we get the latest from CNN's Weather Center. Stay with us.




HOLMES: We are tracking typhoon Chanthu, as it makes its way up the east coast of Taiwan. It's no longer a supertyphoon but still, a formidable storm with category 3 strength winds and heavy rain. Expected to continue north and get close to the capital of Taipei, in the coming hours.



HOLMES: China announced this week that it will send nearly $31 million worth of vaccines and other emergency supplies to Afghanistan. The donation will include at least 3 million doses of China's COVID vaccine, along with medicine, food and winter weather supplies.

Chinese leaders have repeatedly said that the country will share its COVID vaccines with the world, especially lower income countries. The donations are seen as a way for China to boost its profile and influence as a world leader.

And it comes as Beijing seeks to assert Chinese nationalism at home and abroad. For some, this crusade is raising the specter of earlier crackdowns on Western influence. CNN's David Culver in Shanghai reports.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China's ruling Communist Party, having just celebrated its 100th birthday, is implementing a series of drastic policies, upending everything from multibillion dollar businesses to pop culture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's back to socialism and the party, I think, wants to remain ahead of the curve.

CULVER (voice-over): Socialism with Chinese characteristics, as it's called here; the party is returning to its self acclaimed motto of "serving the people," led by an increasingly powerful Xi Jinping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really wants a discipline regime, a disciplined people, all dedicated to the party; in many ways, making China strong.

CULVER (voice-over): And it means weakening some of the country's biggest tycoons. In recent months, China has targeted some of China's most successful companies, imposing harsh regulations and fines on ridehailing company DiDi and tech giants Alibaba and Tencent.

It's coincided with restrictions on materialism and the flaunting of luxurious living. President Xi's gone a step further, calling for a redistribution of wealth to close a widening income gap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means that private businesses are going to be much more under the control of the government and the party. It means that the rich are going to be also much more under check.

CULVER (voice-over): The crackdown has also extended to Chinese celebrities. Those accused of tax evasion or simply being unpatriotic and sometimes even without explanations, not only canceled but also erased from Chinese social media and online streaming platforms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't get too high, you can't get too famous and you can't get too wealthy.

CULVER (voice-over): Some are calling it a new cultural revolution, harkening back to the '60s and '70s, when then Communist leader Mao Zedong led a movement to purify the party, as he put it.

But many say an obvious effort to reassert his control in a power struggle. It led to brutal crackdowns on free thought, mass imprisonments and death, though in today's China, there is no question who is in charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A comment by Xi has massive consequences nowadays because the bureaucrats, the party officials today, are eager to please him, are eager to follow through his instructions nowadays. And that can be found also in the capital markets as well.

CULVER (voice-over): And it's spread into China's already heavily patrolled cyberspace, from celebrity fan pages to university LGBTQ groups, profiles and past posts deleted. These policies to purify the internet and preserve party control seeming to target any person, company group with suspected foreign influence, most especially from the United States.

China's also challenging the in the U.S. for full control over strategic supplies, from electronic chips to solar panels to vaccines. It wants access to these key items unimpeded by Western nations and eventually to become self sufficient.

Meantime, some are tapping into China's rising nationalism, winning favor by promoting patriotism, morality and, more than anything else, the Communist Party ideology, starting with children as young as 6 years old, with the recent introduction of a new mandatory academic subject, Xi Jinping thought.

The Chinese president already eliminated term limits in 2018, opening the door for him to rule for life. As for the companies that are feeling growing squeeze from Beijing, they are suddenly paying for it in a very public way, pledging to donate billions of dollars to further Xi's social causes.


CULVER (voice-over): Whether voluntary or compelled, it seems they have gotten the party's message. In China, there is only one boss who really counts -- David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.


HOLMES: It has been a day of remembrance as ceremonies honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. Just ahead, the deep loss of so many as they cherish the memories of their loved ones. We'll be right back.






HOLMES (voice-over): "The Star-Spangled Banner" being played during the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle on Saturday. Acting U.S. ambassador Philip Reeker said the U.S. was incredibly grateful to the queen for the gesture and said it represents the enduring friendship and solidarity between the two allies.


HOLMES: And across the U.S., commemorations of that fateful day. There were speeches, prayers and remembering.




GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And these memories of passengers and crew of Flight 93 must always have an honored place. Here, the intended targets became the instruments of rescue.

And many who are now alive owe a vast unconscious debt to the defiance displayed in the skies above this field. On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor's hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.