US, World Remember 9/11 on 10th Anniversary of Attacks
People and governments across the world commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
On that morning, Al Qaeda suicide terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. The impact caused both buildings to collapse within two hours, destroying nearby structures and damaging others.
The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There are no known survivors from any of the flights.
Excluding the 19 hijackers, 2 974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 90 different countries. Policeman and firefighters, who rushed to the World Trade Center in a rescue effort, were also among the vicitms.
The attacks prompted a strong response from the US, such as the Patriot Act, the establishing of the Department of Homeland Security and – the launching of the War on Terror.
Since then, 9/11 has been a day for unification of all Americans.
As it is now the tradition, the names of all who were killed in New York will be read at Ground Zero, the place where the twin towers once stood. This year's ceremony, however, will be marked by the unveiling of an official memorial at the World Trade Center site
There will be 4-minute pauses for silence at the exact times when the airliners smashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The New York's National September 11 Memorial features two reflecting pools, each almost an acre in size, located in the footprints of twin towers.
The names of those who died on 9/11, as well as the six people killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, are inscribed on the edge of the pools.
President Obama will travel to all three sites for the commemorations, part of a weekend of events to mark the anniversary.
"As a resilient nation, we will carry on. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security professionals, there should be no doubt: today, America is stronger and al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat. Yes we face a determined foe, and make no mistake - they will keep trying to hit us again. But as we are showing again this weekend, we remain vigilant," Obama said Saturday in his weekly address.
Security has been tightened in New York and Washington after a warning was received that al-Qaeda may have sent attackers, some of them possibly US citizens, to bomb one of the cities.
The warning, reportedly received from a CIA informant last week, was described by officials as "credible but unconfirmed". It was confirmed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who advised Americans to not cancel plans, but to still remain vigilant.
President Obama will be joined in New York by George W. Bush, who was president at the time of the attacks.
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