'The world stopped moving 20 years ago today': Czech political leaders recall 9/11

Czech leaders paid tribute on social media and at a Prague service today to victims of terror attacks in New York and Washington D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 11.09.2021 19:34 (updated on 11.09.2021)

Terrorism must be fought and safety not taken for granted, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other Czech politicians said on social media today on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

"At present, terrorists want to wage attacks even in free and democratic states.," Babiš wrote.

"That is why the states of NATO and the Allies must resolutely intervene against all those who provide background for international terrorism."

Deputy PM Jan Hamáček tweeted that it is necessary to be prepared for the defense of safety, democracy, and freedom.

"The collapse of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon were the sad confirmation of the fact that safety, democracy, and freedom are no longer a matter of course. We must be prepared to defend them," wrote Hamáček.

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Also on Twitter, opposition Civic Democrat chairman Petr Fiala wrote that 9/11 made people aware of new dangers and threats in the modern world.

"The September 11 terrorist attack will forever be a reminder of the destructive force of extremism and hatred. We must face these threats together," Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek wrote.

At an event in Prague's St. Nicholas Church, Kulhanek commemorated those who sacrificed their lives while rescuing others.

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"Twenty years ago, terrorism showed its most horrible face, The names of the thousands of victims of the attacks on the USA will forever remind us what bigotry and hatred can result in. We must fight such evil, so that nothing similar ever repeats," said Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar.

Fiala said it is necessary for Czechs to realize how important it is to be part of an organization whose task is to protect their safety. "Being a member of NATO is the only way to achieve this," Fiala wrote.

Mayors and Independents leader Vít Rakušan believes that even today, people are unable to fully admit and realize how much the world has changed and where the stream of history has turned.

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"We are lucky to live in one of the safest countries in the world. Although many populists challenge it, we also owe this to our firm alliance within both NATO and Europe. We rank among the countries that view terror simply as evil without any attributes," Rakušan said.

According to Christian Democrat chairman Marian Jurečka, the world stopped moving 20 years ago.

It was September 11, 2001 and we all watched the horror and iniquities committed by terrorists. I deeply respect all those who helped save lives at the time. Today, let's remember that terrorism must be fought against, something we can do effectively only as a full-fledged member of NATO," Jurečka said.

"Twenty years have elapsed since the 09/11 tragic events. Today, remembrance should be paid to the attack's innocent victims, the rescue officers who intervened at the scenes of the tragedy, and also the armed forces members who fought far away from their homeland and those who laid down their life in the fight," said Pirate leader Ivan Bartoš.

Detail of the Sept. 11 memorial at Kampa. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Detail of the Sept. 11 memorial at Kampa. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

"The attackers' hatred was targeted against freedom and democracy. We must not give these values up, since they define us. Let's therefore not yield to evil, let's fight it, in all its forms," TOP 09 chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová wrote.

Former Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said that much has changed in the past two decades.

"The world has changed. The danger in the form of hatred, intolerance, and extremism has not disappeared, however. Let's not be indifferent to it," Petříček wrote.

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