Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has commemorated the victims of the 9/11 terror attack on the 20th anniversary of the day which changed the course of history. The president laid down a wreath in front of a plaque commemorating the victims in the chapel of the Presidential Palace.
Apart from the plaque, the chapel in the Presidential Palace also houses a cross cut out of the steel structure of the World Trade Center towers. The cross was donated by policemen and firefighters who took part in the rescue operation following the attack.
The Polish president’s office also paid tribute to the victims on social media, writing "the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 changed the world forever. Today, we honour the memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks. #WeRemember911"
On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes in the US, two of which were later used to crash into World Trade Center towers in New York City, while a third hit the Pentagon in Virginia.
The fourth plane was to be used by the hijackers for a suicide attack against the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. but crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers launched an attack against the terrorists in the cockpit. Nearly three thousand people were killed in the terror attacks, among them six Polish citizens.
In response to the attacks, the United States sent military personnel to Afghanistan to help the Northern Alliance rebels topple the Taliban regime that had allowed Al-Qaeda to operate in their territory.
On November 22, 2001, Poland decided to participate in the NATO-led ISAF mission to Afghanistan. By 2007, the Polish Army had 2500 soldiers stationed in the country, constituting the 7th largest ISAF contingent.
40 Polish soldiers lost their lives over the course of the ISAF operation in Afghanistan, which concluded with the withdrawal of the coalition in August 2021.