9/11 anniversary: Sombre US honours victims 10 years on


The services for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks were a day for America to pause and reflect

America has paused on a day of deep emotion to honour the victims of the 9/11 attacks, 10 years after the event.

Nearly 3,000 people died when four hijacked airliners were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

A minute's silence marked each moment that a plane struck, or one of the WTC's twin towers fell.

President Barack Obama visited each of the three memorials to victims of the al-Qaeda attacks.

Security was tight following warnings of a possible new attack by al-Qaeda.

'Lives cut short'

The first plane hit the WTC's North Tower at 08:46 (13:46 GMT), the second at 09:03.

The third attack, on the Pentagon, occurred at 09:37 and it was at 10:03 that the fourth jet crashed in Pennsylvania.

Speaking to the crowd at Ground Zero, the president quoted the Bible: "Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said a "perfect blue sky morning" had turned into "the blackest of nights" on 9/11.

"They were our neighbours, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents," he said of the victims.

"They each had a face, a story, a life cut short from under them."


These ceremonies around America are no perfunctory moments of remembrance of an event that has faded in the popular imagination. These day-long events are designed to recall the horror and loss of that day, to play on the heart strings of a nation that cannot forget.

Around New York and Washington there is a very obvious reminder of the way the country has changed, a police presence that must be unprecedented, closing down lower Manhattan to traffic for a day - the reaction to what authorities say is a very real threat from al-Qaeda.

The American homeland has not been attacked again since 9/11, the sense of possibility, of vulnerability, the overwhelming need for security has not gone away. But some things have changed.

Today may have evoked memories of a righteous patriotic fervour to deal with those who threaten the country and that desire does still exist but the enthusiasm to reshape the destiny of other countries to make Americans safer has largely disappeared.

All of the victims' names were read out amid tears, the five-hour reading punctuated by the solemn silences, and music.

Bagpipers opened the gathering, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus sang the national anthem, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed, and Paul Simon played his classic song The Sounds Of Silence.

Mourners streamed into the newly opened memorial, which has two reflecting pools, each almost an acre in size, in the footprints of the twin towers.

They placed pictures and flowers beside names etched in bronze. Grown men and women sobbed in grief over the inscriptions.

Behind the memorial could be seen the gleaming bulk of One World Trade Center, now three-quarters completed.

Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, attended ceremonies in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

At Ground Zero he joined his predecessor, George W Bush, to visit the memorial. With bowed heads, they touched inscriptions.

From New York, the Obamas travelled to the field on Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the fourth plane was forced down by passengers who fought back.

The couple laid a wreath of white flowers at a new marble memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of the lost plane, before moving on to the Pentagon, outside Washington DC, where another wreath was laid.

In New York, metal barriers were erected on roads near Ground Zero, while police in New York and Washington are stopping and searching large vehicles entering bridges and tunnels.

The CIA received a warning last week that al-Qaeda might have sent attackers, some of them possibly US citizens, to bomb one of the cities.

The warning was described by officials as "credible but unconfirmed".

'New generation of patriots'

In an earlier speech at the Pentagon, Vice-President Joe Biden praised the US soldiers who had killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in May of this year.

9/11 DEAD


  • World Trade Center: 2,605
  • Flight American 11: 87
  • Flight United 175: 60


  • Building: 125
  • Flight American 77: 59


  • Flight United 93: 40


A "new generation of patriots" were galvanised by 9/11, he told a military audience.

"We will not stop - you will not stop - until al-Qaeda is disrupted, dismantled and, ultimately, defeated."

Sunday's ceremonies began at the US embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the flag was lowered to half-mast to remember those who died 10 years ago, as well as those who have died since. A piece of the twin towers is buried underneath the flag pole.

US forces were sent to Afghanistan to oust the Taliban from power after they had given sanctuary to al-Qaeda.

Overnight, insurgents attacked US bases in Bagram and Wardak, injuring about 80 US troops and killing two Afghan civilians, officials say.

More than 6,200 members of the US military have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    this is a time for reflection not just for those who were lost in 9/11 but for the countries forced into war their after! the civilians who’s life’s were lost, for the paranoid state we now live in, the question on my mind…is when will it stop?

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    I lived in america during the mid 90s and remember collections going round new york bars to pay for the IRA to kill people in England and NI I don't remember many americans caring much in fact they with their donations kept the bombs coming

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    After spending trillions attacking Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan is it really time for America to pick a fight with Muslim Turkey?

    #177 Currently, politically Turkey is now going the other way, influenced by Iran.

    Modern Turkey has been set up by Ataturk as a secular, pro-Western Republic.

    People like Erdogan have been trying to undermine that concept.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    We should remember with great sadness not only those who died and have died since, but also the incalculable number of innocent Muslims who have suffered a decade of persecution and victimisation because of the barbaric acts of a few, committed in their name but without their knowledge. We owe it to our fellow human beings not to forget but to forgive, and to treat each other with respect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    I hope the good muslims will stop the bad muslims from engaging in terror. I hope the good muslims will stop the bad muslims from murdering Christians in many African countries, and I hope the good muslims and the good far right Christians will cooperate for peace. That would be a start.

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    "So you think that the US should get into a firefight with its NATO ally Turkey in order to prevent food getting to Gaza"

    Nope, but to prevent illegal shipments of weapons to Gaza.

    [I think United Nations have already expressed its opinion on it]

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    minsa - you are a thoroughly unpleasant person and your comments on this day of remembrance as disgusting

    please leave the uk and go and live with your 'muslim' brothers and your terrorist 'friends'

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.


    Have you not seen any of the cables from wikileaks either?
    You do realise after 9/11, al qaeda did NOT claim responsibility? AQ even offered to hand over Osama if US proved him to the culprit. The first two videos of Osama he denies any involvenment. Did you know that the Secret Service admited to making fake OBL tapes? It's a huge psy op

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    AND THE WINNER IS..... (groan) The Terrorist !!! He / She has us all gripped tightly by the short and curlies. Just sitting back quietly knowing the merest suggestion of a threat is riddling us with a cancerous fear. And they just LOVE it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    I certainly don't understand why the Western countries pay so much attention to this particular day that too for something happened in USA!!!! Don't they realise how many they have killed in Iraw, Afghan and pakistan in the name of terrorism. Shame on you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    9/11 attack in America 10 years ago was a terrible thing and my sympathy goes out to the families of lost ones. However, every year on this anniversary the US & UK give the impression that America is the only country ever to have been attacked - they don't really know the meaning of the word compared to Europe during the second World War! Let's not forget what they did to 2 whole cities in Japan!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    "Egyptians behaving like Israelis when their border guards are killed"

    Perhaps apologists for Muslim fanatics remind us when was the last time (nay, any time) Israelis attacked Egyptian embassy (or any other Arab embassy for that matter) and put it on fire?

    BTW. Do you care to remember who bombed an Israeli Cultural center in Buenos Aires killing dozes of Jews?

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    To put things into perspective, the number of souls lost on 9 Sepember is almost exactly the same as the annual number killed on our (UK) roads.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    Something for a Megrahi apologist from Scotland to reflect on:

    A major weapons trade show in UK is sponsored by the Bank of Scotland.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    @dphiz, Please provide a source for your claim that the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths are the direct result of US action, rather than the terrorists who routinely blow themselves up in crowded markets and mosques. How Al-Qaeda originated is irrelevant. The fact is, they alone are responsible for their acts, just as the US are, yet people only want to hold America accountable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    It is a sad fact that nearly 3,000 human beings lost their lives 10 years ago. I am also aware of the hatred toward Islamic people, and mistrust. As a Christian, I am in total agreement with ikahn, who says it is time to move on and time for peace. The day after the 9/11 attacks a Muslim followed me into toilets and of course I was wary. He said "We are not all the same you know." Amen to that.

  • Comment number 179.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    I am going to stop posting now as I agree we are diminishing this day by entering into arguments about what cause 9/11 or followed.

    The US/UK/West aren't perfect. But I'll take their philosophy over Al Quaida, Taliban, Iran, Saddam, China or anyone else being promoted on here today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.


    >>> So you think that the US should get into a firefight with its NATO ally Turkey in order to prevent food getting to Gaza? After spending trillions attacking Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan is it really time for America to pick a fight with Muslim Turkey?

    Currently, politically Turkey is now going the other way, influenced by Iran.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    Do you actually think that America is winning?

    Do you believe there will be any winners?
    Sadly all I see is different levels of losing.


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