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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris joined former President George W. Bush at a ceremony on Saturday to honor the lives lost 20 years ago on United Airlines Flight 93.

Driving the news: The vice president and the 43rd president devoted much of their remarks to remembering the unity that brought Americans together after the 9/11 attacks.

  • President Biden on Saturday praised Bush's speech and reinforced a similar message of restoring national unity that the former president and Harris invoked.
  • "Are we going to, in the next four, five, six, 10 years, demonstrate that democracies can work, or not?" Biden said at a fire station in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  • Asked how national unity could be restored, Biden said honesty would help and there would be "no hiding the ball" from him, per a reporter traveling with the president.

What they're saying: "On the days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, we were all reminded that unity is possible in America. We were reminded, too, that unity is imperative in America. It is essential to our shared prosperity, our national security, and to our standing in the world," Harris said in her keynote remarks.

  • "In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own," Bush said in his remarks at the Flight 93 Memorial.
  • "Malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together."
  • "I come without explanations or solutions," Bush said, adding: "I can only tell you what I've seen. 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."

Details: Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and former first lady Laura Bush also attended.

  • President Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Shanksville separately. Biden and the first lady began their day at a ceremony at Ground Zero in New York City.
  • Later in the afternoon, Harris and the second gentleman will join President Biden and the first lady at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.
In photos
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush attend a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Family members follow Vice President Kamala Harris to lay a wreath after she spoke at the 20th anniversary remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Vice President Kamala Harris touches the memorial wall during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Bells are rung during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
An attendee puts her hand on the head of a child at the Flight 93 National Memorial commemorating the 20th anniversary of the crash of Flight 93. Photo: Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A National park ranger places a memorial wreath at the Flight 93 National Memorial commemorating the 20th anniversary of the crash of Flight 93. Photo: Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
President Biden visits the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

Protests erupt in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

The latest: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the election as "not free and fair" on Monday and urged the Belarusian government to "refrain from use of force" against protesters who have taken to the streets. At least one person has died in the protests, while hundreds have been injured and thousands arrested.

Dec 16, 2021 - Science

In photos: Unprecedented storm leaves nearly 100 million people reeling

A person from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation works to remove a tree that collapsed on several cars after strong winds passed through the city on Dec. 15. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Communities across the Plains and Upper Midwest were hit by a massive multi-hazard storm on Wednesday, with winds reaching 85 to 100 mph.

Why it matters: Wednesday set the U.S. record for most hurricane-force wind reports in a single day and affected nearly 100 million people.

Biden awards Medal of Honor to 3 U.S. soldiers

President Biden speaking at the Medal of Honor ceremony on Thursday. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday awarded the Medal of Honor to three U.S. soldiers, including Sgt. First Class Alwyn C. Cashe, the first Black recipient of the award for actions since 9/11.

The big picture: Biden also honored Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz and Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee for their "conspicuous gallantry."

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