On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) hosted an exhibition of the “World Trade Center Artifact” Memorial and photos showing 9/11 terror attacks. The memorial is owned by American citizens Paul Rodzianko and Chauncie Rodzianko. Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze, Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth, Deputy Prime Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Education and Science, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Deputy Chief of Mission, Rian Harris, the owners of the memorial and invited guests attended the event, which was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth and supported by TSU.
“It was the biggest tragedy in the modern world that has changed a lot, including attitudes, relations, understanding about how fragile the present world is and that global challenges need a global response with the involvement of many actors. 20 years ago, Georgia responded to this tragedy very actively. Our participation, along with partners, in Afghan and other operations is worth noting. Even after 20 years, the world has not become more protected more challenges have emerged. So, we should stand together to prevent similar events from reoccurring. All interested persons will have an opportunity to view the exhibition during two months,” Rector George Sharvashidze said.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth, Tea Tsulukiani said that Georgian and American peoples were always standing together to combat terrorism and that the two countries will further continue strategic cooperation in this sphere. “20 years have passed since the gravest tragedy of 9/11. This day has changed the world. Terrorism has no borders. It poses a threat to everyone. Just therefore, the entire world should stand together against this menace. Today, we again honor the victims of 9/11 and we hope that future generations will never let such tragedies happen again,” Tea Tsulukiani said.
“This memorial will be displayed at various Georgian universities, including regional ones and our youth, students, all interested persons will have an opportunity to view the memorial and the photo exhibition so that everyone remembers about this tragedy,” Education Minister Mikheil Chkhenkeli said.
The memorial, which by decision of its owners has been displayed publicly for the first time, represents a steel frame of the blown-up skyscraper. The relic was purchased in New York and it retains the name and number of Laclede Steel, St. Louis’s leading steel producer. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum was opened at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. The parts of the destroyed buildings were sold or they became available to citizens.
Deputy Chief of Mission, Rian Harris said that a threat of terror attacks still persists. She hailed Georgia for its involvement in combating terrorism.
Paul Rodzianko, owner of the memorial, praised Georgia for its solidarity with the tragedy that occurred in New York 20 years ago. He said that when he arrived in Georgia last year, an idea emerged to turn the metal into a sculpture, adding that the memorial is a very valuable thing for him, reminding him of that terrible day.
The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the militant Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States. On that morning, four commercial airliners were hijacked mid-flight by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Their explicit goal was to crash each plane into a prominent American building, causing mass casualties and partial or complete destruction of the targeted buildings. Two planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and both of them collapsed. All passengers on board as well as the majority of people staying in the buildings died. The third plane was crashed into the west side of the Pentagon in Virginia, causing a partial collapse of the building’s side. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The terror attacks left more than 3,000 people from 62 countries dead.
Even 20 years after 9/11, these terror attacks remain the most terrible tragedy in the history of the modern world.