Queen Elizabeth II will visit Ground Zero for the first time and make her first address to the U.N. General Assembly in over half a century when she arrives in New York on Tuesday.
The 84-year-old monarch, accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will lay a wreath at the former site of the World Trade Center to pay tribute to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. She will also open the British Garden of Remembrance in nearby Hanover Square to honor the 67 British citizens killed on 9/11, The Associated Press reports.
"A visit to New York for just a day is really a teaser," she said of her 15 whirlwind hours in a town her imagination had conjured from pictures. "Everyone has a mental picture of famous places they have never seen. But I suppose the mental pictures of New York are nearer reality than those of any other city."
Nearly two decades later, in 1976, the 50-year-old queen made her second visit to New York, marking the Bicentennial of America’s Declaration of Independence from Britain, part of a six-day tour that took her to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. She was hailed by huge crowds and became a centerpiece of the celebrations. Mayor Abraham D. Beame proclaimed her an honorary New Yorker, New York Times says.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year