World Leaders, Celebrities Remember 'Heartbreak and Horror' of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

A wide range of world leaders and celebrities commemorated the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on Saturday, paying tribute to the nearly 3,000 people in the U.S. who lost their lives.

Figures ranging from Queen Elizabeth II to Mariah Carey reflected on the somber anniversary, with several writing social media posts with the hashtag #NeverForget.

"My visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 is held fast in my memory. It reminds me that as we honor those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild," the Queen wrote in a statement to President Joe Biden.

The Queen’s message to the President of the United States on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on 11th September 2001. pic.twitter.com/jsdH4X50Ao

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 11, 2021

Mariah Carey tweeted Saturday that she found herself "remembering the shock and anguish we all experienced with painfully deep sadness."

"Still astonished by how many innocent people were lost in an instant, gone forever but never to be forgotten. Thinking of all the families still mourning their loved ones 20 years after that devastating and tragic moment in our history," the musician added.

On this anniversary of 9/11, I find myself remembering the shock and anguish we all experienced with painfully deep sadness. Vivid images of the skyline I grew up loving so much, suddenly changed forever. pic.twitter.com/eSoaaNwf8X

— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) September 11, 2021

Celebrities Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Hudson, Mark Wahlberg, Denis Leary and Blake Shelton also used the hashtag "Never forget" in honoring those who lost their lives.

"My prayers go out to all the families that lost their loves ones on this day 20 years ago. We will #neverforget. Forever in our hearts," wrote Witherspoon.

My prayers go out to all the families that lost their loves ones on this day 20 years ago. We will #neverforget. Forever in our hearts.

— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) September 11, 2021

"It's been 20 years and we will never forget. Join me in praying for the loved ones of all those we lost. #NeverForget," Hudson added.

It’s been 20 years and we will never forget. Join me in praying for the loved ones of all those we lost. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/CN0Fy1VNBt

— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) September 11, 2021

Musician Bruce Springsteen honored victims of the attacks by playing a powerful impromptu tribute show at the 9/11 memorial in New York City.

"May god bless our fallen brothers and sisters, their families, their friends and their loved ones," Springsteen said prior to the acoustic performance, according to Rolling Stone.

The leaders of France, the U.K., Canada, Germany, Venezuela and Columbia also reflected on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

"On this solemn anniversary, we remember the nearly 3,000 victims, including at least 24 Canadians, and send our deepest condolences to their families. We also recognize the sacrifice and bravery of the first responders who risked their lives protecting others, those who survived, and those who lost a loved one," wrote Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "Amid the fear, heartbreak, and horror of that day, we saw courage, heroism, and selflessness emerge."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter that while the attacks brought grief and suffering, "we can now say with the perspective of 20 years that they failed to shake our belief in freedom and democracy."

Today we remember the 2,977 people taken from us on September 11th 2001.

But while the terrorists imposed their burden of grief and suffering, we can now say with the perspective of 20 years that they failed to shake our belief in freedom and democracy. pic.twitter.com/BBuz9i08WZ

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 11, 2021

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressed Biden on Saturday, sharing in a statement that he stands "in solidarity with our American friends."

In a letter to President Biden marking 20 years since the attacks of 9/11, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his heartfelt solidarity with the USA. "Whoever saw these images also felt affected - in solidarity with our American friends," he wrote. pic.twitter.com/AbvO2PmlyK

— German Embassy (@GermanyinUSA) September 10, 2021

"We will never forget. We will always fight for freedom," French President Emmanuel Macron also said in a statement.

Colombian President Ivan Duque wrote on Twitter: "Twenty years ago the world shook with an unprecedented insane act of terrorism. Thousands of people perished and humanity understood that terrorism is the worst form of human degradation and corruption."

Hace 20 años el mundo se estremeció con un acto demencial de terrorismo sin precedentes. Miles de personas fallecieron y la humanidad entendió que el terrorismo es la peor forma de degradación y corrupción humana.

— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) September 11, 2021

Biden and a number of former U.S. presidents, including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, also commemorated the attacks with statements on Saturday.

"Twenty years ago, nearly 3,000 lives were cut short by an unspeakable act of cowardice and hatred on 9/11. As a nation, we must never forget those we lost during one of the darkest moments in our history and the enduring pain of their families and loved ones," Biden said in a statement posted to Twitter.

In total, 2,977 people were killed and thousands more were injured in 2001, when four commercial planes were hijacked by the radical Islamist group Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, and crashed into three locations in the U.S.

9/11 Memorial
President Joe Biden visits the 9/11 Memorial at the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images