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9/11 Anniversary: Obama Leads US In Mourning

President Barack Obama will lead America in mourning the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks later today in ceremonies in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville.

Nearly 3,000 people died when al Qaeda hijackers brought down the World Trade Centre towers, flew a plane into the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania.

The names of all those who perished will be read out at the memorial event in lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers once stood.

Those names are also inscribed in bronze surrounding two huge reflecting pools marking the foundations of the buildings that collapsed on the morning of September 11 a decade ago.

Charles Wolf lost his British wife Katherine. She was working in the North Tower and never made it out.

He says the memorial built at Ground Zero is a fitting tribute to those who died.

“It’s beautiful… it is not until you walk up to the memorial and stand there with the names underneath you and the waterfalls around you and the entirety of the whole footprint of the World Trade Centre tower in front of you.

“It bowls you over… it is so powerful.”

The ceremony at the World Trade Centre site will start at 8.40am local time and this year will pause at six moments – twice to mark the times that each plane hit the towers, twice to mark the time when each tower fell and to mark the moments of the attacks on the Pentagon and on Flight 93 in Shanksville.

The first moment of silence will be at 8.46am, and houses of worship across New York will toll their bells at that time.

Mr Obama and former president George W Bush will give readings as will Mayor Mike Bloomberg and former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In a presidential message, Mr Obama said: “A decade ago, our fellow citizens and first responders rushed up stairwells, into flames, and into that cockpit and gave their lives to save others.

“In the decade since, a new generation – our military personnel, intelligence officers, and law enforcement – has stepped forward to serve our country and keep us safe.

“This weekend, I encourage all Americans to remember not only the innocent lives we lost on that day, but to remember the ordinary goodness and patriotism of the American people and the spirit of unity that brought us together during the days and weeks after the attacks of September 11.”

 

:: At least two of the three men involved in a possible terror plot to mark 9/11’s anniversary are believed to be US citizens.

:: Ten years ago, Ground Zero was 16 square acres of twisted steel and rubble but now the rebuild is well under way.