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."

Analysis

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

NEW YORK

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

PENTAGON

  • Building: 125
  • Flight American 77: 59

SHANKSVILLE

  • Flight United 93: 40

TOTAL KILLED: 2,976

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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  • Comment number 395.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 394.

    389. Perpetual Sigh
    "There is literally no evidence supporting your view except the 'evidence' judiciously cropped from the whole to support a pre-existing hatred for the government."
    ////
    Unfortunately, these days the fact that no evidence can be found for a certain theory, does not mean that that theory is unfounded. Too many people have gotten away with too much.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 393.

    Can we refrain from the accusations?

    Whatever your feelings on it, 2,976 died tragically that day, when they should have been safe. Just people going to work, doing their normal jobs of the day. Each of them has family, friends, loved ones. Respect that, please.

    Of course it doesn't invalidate the millions who have died elsewhere in the world. But nor do they invalidate the WTC victims either.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 392.

    Once humanity realizes its religions are archaic and no longer necessary in this age, we will no longer have to discuss things of this nature.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 391.

    BBC, you only have yourselves to blame for all of the comments persisting on a 9/11 inside job. You've had several cracks at a debunking piece and you've failed every time by choosing to go for cynical emotional manipulation and straw man attacks instead of studying the evidence. Your laziness has somehow led more credibility to the equally shameless truth movement.

    The victims deserve better.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 390.

    "The US/UK may have been nieve believing Iraq could be liberated in a bloodless fashion given the Sunni's brutal repression of the Shia majority. But that does NOT make us responsible for all the evils visited there."

    And yet here we are 8 years on making exactly the same mistake in Libya. Makes you wonder what all these wars are REALLY about......

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 389.

    324. lance corporal mcKlennan
    "911 was an inside job"

    No, no it wasn't. Please try to think critically in future for a change. There is literally no evidence supporting your view except the 'evidence' judiciously cropped from the whole to support a pre-existing hatred for the government. Every single solitary 9/11 conspiracy theory has been utterly debunked. End of story.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 388.

    380.billy
    336.
    CryFreedomMachine
    +++
    Violence...is our past & our future.
    ===
    You have a point but violent always backfires, our ruling elite could have been a whole lot smarter with power
    .

    ++
    It does, it backfired on dinosaurs as well as many a despot/dictator & also on us (UK), many a nation we trampled on has not forgotten & our problems are that we trampled on so many.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 387.

    375. Francis power
    "Millions of people in the Middle East have rejected despot and Islamic rule in favour of a secular society with choice and opportunity for all. Sounds quite American really..."
    ////
    Not sure they rejected Islamic rule per se. Despot Islamic rule maybe. And how does that sound American? Like "You are either with us or against us?". Merry lies and hypocrisy to all!

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 386.

    376.bridgetonboy
    8 Minutes ago
    #367 CryFreedomMachine-He/she has the right to support it,if indeed he/she did.


    +++

    & as per my comments I have the right to reject comments & those on HYS who's comments support the attrocity of 9/11.

    At least I have the decency to state my objection in open, unlike some on HYS who invisibly complain to BBC to get comments they object to removed

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 385.

    Americans have been blindly following whatever the government says for so long they have forgotten how to think for themselves. I hope one day people will wake up and protest loudly this unnecessary war and the American governments constant need to invade other countries. Take a look and see what is really going on behind our backs.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 384.

    RIP to all in afghan and iraq who have been killed by the americans

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 383.

    I have visited Ground Zero and the surrounding area and was touched by the dignity of the place.
    The terrorists did not, as thay intended, rip the heart out of New York. Instead they put new heart into that wonderful city and into the whole country.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 382.

    369.Norman Brooke
    5 Minutes ago
    At church today we prayed for the victims of this terrible event ....

    Religious fundamentalism from wherever has NOTHING to do with God.

    +++
    WRONG

    Fundamentalism = strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles.

    Religious purpose is to adhere to set strict ideas/principles, hence religions have fundamentalism at their core/heart.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 381.

    Contrary to popular belief TRUE Islam is not a violent faith. Unfortunately, the rise in fanaticism is what lead to this. Instead of looking at the big picture of 9/11, let's get down to a personal level. These were someones loved ones. Respect ...please.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 380.

    336.
    CryFreedomMachine
    +++
    Power & violence is everything...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...is our past & our future.
    ===
    You have a point but violent always backfires, our ruling elite could have been a whole lot smarter with power

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 379.

    369.Norman Brooke
    At church today we prayed for the victims of this terrible event but we also prayed for the victims of our barbaric so called war on terror where tens of thousands of innocent lives have been needlessly lost.

    Religious fundamentalism from wherever has NOTHING to do with God.

    +++

    So, does that mean you do not believe in your gods will.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 378.

    #368 flemingnufc-Or maybe Iraqis or whatever of one's choice.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 377.

    If there really WAS a legally-declared War, because of a threat of an invasion of your Homeland, well that's OK. In that case - throw the heavy Boys at them and don't hold back. If they are miles away and pose no Homeland threat - back off - and watch, with astonishment or amusement, their self-destruction on Sky, CNBC, ABC or even the dear old Licence Fee Burglars, the BBC.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 376.

    #367 CryFreedomMachine-He/she has the right to support it,if indeed he/she did.

 

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