Brooklynites gathered around the borough on Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that devastated New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
The solemn day gave families of the 2,977 victims a chance to mourn their lost loved ones, and an opportunity for the city to reflect on the horrific attacks that changed the course of America’s history.
Atop the mourning from those who lost family and friends on that tragic September day, the anniversary brought newfound attention to those struggling with longterm illnesses related to their presence at Ground Zero, which was plagued by toxic air and a plethora of unhealthy chemicals. The CDC has estimated that the number of people who perish from 9/11-related illnesses will soon surpass the amount of people who died as a direct result of the attacks.
Another unavoidable topic of the somber occasion was the decision by President Joe Biden’s administration to withdraw troops from Afghanistan ahead of the 20th anniversary, which officially ended the longest war in American history.
New York City is home to 210,808 military veterans, including around 52,702 who live in Brooklyn, according to Census data. Around 11 percent of vets in the Big Apple had served in post-9/11 wars — marking the second most veteran population, behind only service members who fought in Vietnam.