Americans mark 15th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
NEW YORK: (APP) Relatives and friends of some of the 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, were among thousands of people, who gathered Sunday at the World Trade Center site to honour the victims on the 15th anniversary of those attacks, the worst in the US history.
Family members, after a moment of silence, read the 2,977 names of those who died in New York, Arlington, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as the six peersons killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were in the crowd, but public officials do not speak on this occasion in keeping with the tradition that began in 2012.
"We'll never forget the horror of Sept 11, 2001," Clinton said in a brief statement issued to the press. "Let's honour the lives and tremendous spirit of the victims and responders."
Trump said in a statement that it was a day of sadness and remembrance, but also of resolve.
"Our solemn duty on behalf of all those who perished ... is to work together as one nation to keep all of our people safe from an enemy that seeks nothing less than to destroy our way of life," Trump said.
The ceremony was held by two reflecting pools with waterfalls that now stand in the towers' former footprints, and watched over by an honour guard of police and firefighters.
More than 340 firefighters and 60 police were killed on the that Tuesday morning in 2001.
Many of the first responders died while running up stairs in the hope of reaching victims trapped on the towers' higher floors.
Houses of worship throughout the city tolled their bells at 8:46 a.m. EDT (5:46 PM PST), the time American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower.
Memorial ceremonies also were underway at the sites of the other crash sites. President Barack Obama participated in a wreath ceremony at the Pentagon, paying tribute to the victims.
"No deed we do can ever truly erase the pain of their absence," Obama said. "Your steadfast love and faithfulness has been an inspiration to me and our entire country."
In New York, crowds for the ceremony have diminished over the years. But this year, with a significant anniversary falling on a weekend, more people attended.