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 355.

    I do wish people would leave the analysis of resulting wars and military intervention, and whether it was right or wrong, to another day. ......Those who died that day do not deserve to have their memory hijacked by an agenda of politicking and making naive comparisons.
    Do you remember the date when Iraq was invaded? and the number of civilians died ?

  • Comment number 354.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 353.

    My heart goes out to the families of the victims. The victims lives were lost in vain, because nothing can judtify the loss. They were murdered going about their daily lives. But as much as their loss demonstrates the depraved depths some will go to achieve their agenda, there were those who risked all to save lives, and in many cases the lives of strangers. Evil was defeated by acts of love

  • rate this

    Comment number 352.

    Re: ikan. The sad truth is that acts of terrorism and violence, including targeted attacks against Christians, are taking place almost exclusively in Islamic nations and by Moslems...often against other Moslems. I'd love to think that Islam is a religion of peace but the evidence strongly suggests the opposite.

  • rate this

    Comment number 351.

    You remember 911 but you don't remember america constantly bombing muslim countries,killing children and women in the process just for their own selfish gains.You remember 911 yet you don't remember the massacre of 8000+ muslims in bosnia. You remember 911 but you don't remember an estimated 2million palestinians killed since 1948

  • Comment number 350.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 349.

    I was barely a month into my last year of high school and this overshadowed the rest of the year. Many of my classmates joined the military immediately after graduation.

    There are things that are still in the process of collapsing, in dreadful slow-motion, that have not yet hit the ground. I don’t know when this will all end. Perhaps it never will.

  • rate this

    Comment number 348.

    I'm sorry, I know I'm going against what most of you seem to think, but it just isn't acceptable to talk about 'evil' when you refer to the men who carried out the 9/11 attacks. They really believed in what they did, and unless we try to understand what motivated them and why they felt the sacrifice of their lives was a price worth paying, we'll always face the possibility of it happening again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 347.

    Re: 315 (LouisW) Some have mentioned Brain-Washing... but I've never been entirely convinced of that concept. Interestingly, however, I was once on the verge of Suicide (thanks to HSBC) and eventually called the Samaritans. An English lady put me on hold and then an Asian bloke came on and asked me if I could drive a Bus.

  • rate this

    Comment number 346.

    #337 Themotco-And who are you to decide??

  • rate this

    Comment number 345.


    Here in America, we learn that the answer to that question is completely unimportant. When you live your life to serve the likes and dislikes of others, you don't really stand for anything, do you?

    I won't agree with everything my country does in the world, but the idea that we should behave differently to make people "like" us is ridiculous. We'll do it because it's right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 344.

    The West's suicidal weakness is evident in this forum, with many interpreting 9/11 not as the barbaric, Islamofascist attack on the West that it was, but as a kind of specific example of a universal intolerance which goes in all directions. What idiocy! This moral relativism shows that we have failed the basic lesson of history: that a failure to learn leads to repetition of gruesome events.

  • rate this

    Comment number 343.


    Please explain how the bombing an wars have done this, why is our economy collapsing?

    Because so many people like you, just understand so little, pass all responsibility to a few & are taken in like children to the The Pied Piper of Hamelin, you tag along willingly accepting carrots/sweetners while it suits your greed/ignorance, until too late & blame all but yourself

  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    #323 CryFreedomMachine-So you're in favour of free speech as long as it doesn't differ greatly from yours?

  • Comment number 341.

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

  • Comment number 340.

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

  • Comment number 339.

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

  • Comment number 338.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    Time for moderators to block "Bankers Screwed Our Country". Free speech is not free - you have to exercise responsibility in return for it. S/he stopped adding to the debate a while back. This is one of the drawbacks in the way HYS is managed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    Please explain how the bombing an wars have done this, why is our economy collapsing?

    Power & violence is everything.
    Factually more has ever been achieved/changed via violence than anything else.
    Whether violence of nature/universe or position/domination of species, or achivements/advancement of humans.

    Violence, in variant forms, is our past & our future.


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