In pictures: A nation marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants affiliated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four commercial airliners with the purpose of carrying out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane slammed into the Pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The coordinated attacks killed thousands of people and injured scores more, making it the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The devastating terror attacks propelled the nation into what would become its longest war.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The Bidens will be accompanied by former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their visit to Lower Manhattan in New York City.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Bidens will join Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, along with former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush.

Biden's visits come less than two weeks after the last U.S. troops departed Afghanistan on Aug. 31, effectively ending America's nearly 20-year war in response to the 2001 attacks.

Here are some of the scenes from the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Sergeant Edwin Morales holds a photo of his cousin Rubin Correa from Engine 74 by the Tribute in Light installation ahead of the 20th anniversary

A man mourns at the 9/11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden stand with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Katie Mascali is comforted by her fiance Andre Jabban as they stand near the name of her father Joseph Mascali, with FDNY Rescue 5

A family member of 9/11 victims pays respect at FDNY Ten House 

President Biden with former President Obama and Clinton stand for the national anthem

A member of the FDNY stands by the north reflecting pool

A rose lays on a bench at the National 9/11 Pentagon

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley stand for the national anthem during the Pentagon 9/11 observance ceremony

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony in New York City

A bell is rung during a moment of silence during the 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony

U.S. service members attend the Pentagon 9/11 observance ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Security is seen during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.

"That is the nation I know": Former President George W. Bush speaks in Shanksville, Pa.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in Shanksville, PA

Family members and loved ones of victims attend the annual September 11 Commemoration Ceremony

Names of victims of the 9/11 attacks are seen on a screen in Times Square

Flags mark the 20th anniversary at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

A person touches the name of a victim on the 9/11 Memorial 

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