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Biden to visit all three 9/11 sites to mark 20th anniversary of attack

David Martin on the 20 years since 9/11
CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin reflects on the 20 years since 9/11 03:40

Washington — President Biden on Saturday will visit all three sites where planes crashed on September 11, 2001, to commemorate the victims and heroes of that day on the 20th anniversary of the attack.

The White House said Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will also visit Shanksville for a separate event, before joining the Bidens at the Pentagon. 

Mr. Biden was a senator at the time of the attack, and it was his wife who first informed him planes had struck the World Trade Center. Mr. Biden also visited Shanksville on the anniversary of the attacks last year, when he was a candidate for president. Former President Barack Obama visited all three 9/11 sites on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. 

The 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks comes just days after the U.S. withdrew all troops from Afghanistan to end America's longest war that began shortly after the attack. Two decades later, the Taliban now controls the country, which Americans and Afghans fought to keep from the hands of terrorists. 

"After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America's sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago," the president said last week. 

Before the Labor Day weekend, Mr. Biden issued an executive order directing a declassification review of documents related to the 9/11 attacks, amid pressure from families of the victims who want to know if Saudi Arabia aided the hijackers. 

As CBS News has reported, some records relate to a still-secret investigation that centered on the two hijackers who lived in San Diego and those who may have assisted them. Danny Gonzalez, a former FBI agent who worked on the operation, told CBS News he's confident two of the hijackers had a U.S.-based support network.

Former CIA directors, insiders and national security experts retrace the agency's steps around 9/11 and detail the mission to hunt down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in "Race Against Time: The CIA and 9/11." The special airs Friday, September 10 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available to stream on the CBS News app and Paramount+ on September 11.

Preview: "Race Against Time: The CIA and 9/11" 00:30
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