Bush to speak on 9/11 at memorial in Shanksville

Bush to speak on 9/11 at memorial in Shanksville
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Former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will appear in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11 to commemorate the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who lost their lives 20 years ago. 

Bush will deliver the keynote address at the Flight 93 National Memorial, the Bush Center said in a statement.

Passengers of United Flight 93 tried to regain control of the plane from hijackers before crashing into a field in Shanksville. The hijacking was part of an orchestrated attack on the U.S. that also targeted the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. 

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Later, the former president and his wife will host a screening of Bush’s new Apple-BBC documentary “9/11: Inside the President’s War Room” in Dallas, according to the news release. 

The memorial will be closed to the public during the observance ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be available for families of passengers who were on the flight. 

Attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to attend the event. There will also be a mask mandate. 

The ceremony, which will come on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, coincides with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of Kabul. The Taliban is on track to regain full control of the country for the first time since 2001, when U.S. troops invaded in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The ceremony also comes after a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday, carried out by the Islamic State's affiliate in Afghanistan, killed 13 U.S. service members and nearly 200 Afghan civilians.