Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the fall of the twin towers

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Americans remember the horror and legacy of 9/11 and gather Monday at memorials, fire stations, city halls and other venues to mark the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.

Commemorations stretch from the sites of the attacks -- New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania -- to Alaska and beyond. President Joe Biden will attend a ceremony at a military base in Anchorage.

His visit, on his way to Washington, DC, after a trip to India and Vietnam , is a reminder that the impact of 9/11 was felt in every corner of the nation, no matter how remote. The hijacked plane attacks claimed almost 3,000 lives and reshaped American foreign policy and internal fears .

That day “we were a country, a nation, a people, as it should be. That was the feeling: that we all came together and did what we could, where we were, to try to help,” said Eddie Ferguson, Virginia's Goochland County Fire Chief.

It is more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the Pentagon and more than three times as far from New York. But a sense of connection is enshrined in a local monument that incorporates steel from the World Trade Center's destroyed twin towers.

The predominantly rural county of 25,000 is holding not just one but two anniversary commemorations: a morning service focused on first responders and an evening ceremony honoring all the victims.

Other communities across the country pay tribute with moments of silence, ringing of bells, candlelight vigils and other activities. In Columbus, Indiana, 911 dispatchers broadcast a memorial message to police, fire and emergency medical services radios throughout the city of 50,000, which is also holding a public memorial ceremony.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts raise and lower the flag at a commemoration in Fenton, Missouri, where a “Heroes Monument” includes a piece of steel from the World Trade Center and a plaque honoring 9/11 victim Jessica Leigh Sachs. Some of her relatives live in the St. Louis suburb of 4,000 people.

“We are just a small community,” said Mayor Joe Maurath, but “it is important for us to continue to remember these events. Not only September 11, but all the events that make us free.”

Monmouth County in New Jersey, which was home to some 9/11 victims, made 9/11 a holiday this year so county employees could attend the commemorations.

As another way to commemorate the anniversary, many Americans volunteer on what Congress has designated both Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

At ground zero, Vice President Kamala Harris will join the ceremony in the plaza at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The event will not include comments from political figures, but the podium will be offered to the relatives of the victims for a reading of the names of the dead for an hour.

James Giaccone signed up to read again this year in memory of his brother, Joseph Giaccone, 43. The family attends the ceremony every year to hear Joseph's name.

"If their name is said out loud, they don't go away," James Giaccone said in a recent interview.

Commemoration is crucial for him.

“I hope the day never comes when they minimize this,” he said. "It is a day that changed history."

Biden, a Democrat, will be the first president to commemorate 9/11 in Alaska or anywhere in the western United States. He and his predecessors have gone to one or another of the attack sites in most years, although Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama occasionally celebrated the anniversary on the White House lawn. Obama followed one of those celebrations by recognizing the military with a visit to Fort Meade in Maryland.

First Lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.

In Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked planes crashed after passengers tried to storm the cockpit, a memorial service and wreath laying is planned at the National Flight 93 Memorial in Stoystown, operated by the National Park Service. Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff, is expected to attend the ceremony.

The memorial site will offer a new educational video, virtual tour, and other materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. Educators with a total of more than 10,000 students have registered to access the free "National Learning Day" program, which will run until the fall, organizers say.

"We need to get the word out to the next generation," said monument spokeswoman Katherine Hostetler, a National Park Service ranger.

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