Unlike September 11, 2001, when New Yorkers woke up to a bright summer morning with a clear blue sky, on the 18th anniversary of the fateful day today, clouds were hugging the horizon.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at New York remained closed for the public to host the annual commemoration ceremony for the family members of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center. The ceremony was live on the museum’s Facebook page and on 911memorial.org/live.
The ceremony at ground zero was sombre like every year. It began with bagpipers and drummers, marching in cadence. A guard of honour carried the flag. At 8:46 a.m.(local time), the time when the first plane slammed into the north tower, there was a moment of silence, the first of six marking the strikes at the trade center and the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pa., as well as the collapse of the twin towers in a blizzard of toxic dust and flaming debris, reported New York Times.
After this ritual, it is a practice every year, that readers recite the names of the dead, one by one, in what takes about three-and-a-half hours. The public is invited to the Tribute in Light that shines upward from the 9/11 Memorial Plaza, which remains open till midnight. The museum’s website says “the lights will be on beginning at sunset on September 11 and will fade away at dawn on September 12.”
A Bell of Hope rang at St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church Wall Street, the little Episcopal chapel located directly across the street from the WTC site. Miraculously, it suffered no damage but was an important rescue staging area in the days that followed.
At the Pentagon, Washington D.C., where 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, there was a private ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial for survivors and families of those who were killed. US President Donald Trump attended the ceremony.
At 6:46 a.m., just prior to the start of the ceremony, an American flag was unfurled down the side of the Pentagon.
The Pentagon Memorial has 184 empty benches dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attack.
United Airlines Flight 93 Memorial Ceremony
A service was held at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to mark the loss of those aboard United Airlines Flight 93, reported newspapers. They fought back in an effort to regain control of the plane.
At 10 a.m., the time the plane crashed, names of the passengers and crew members were read and the Bells of Remembrance rung in their memory.
A Word About The Memorial Museum
It opened in 2011, and the museum followed three years later. They have both become a significant tourist attraction in New York City. The memorial alone has drawn 48 million visitors in the past eight years. It is being tapped to advise communities that have faced tragedies of their own.
Blast Near US Embassy In Kabul
A powerful explosion took near the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, after midnight on Wednesday. It was reportedly caused by a rocket attack.
No casualties have been reported so far.