9/11 15th Anniversary: Americans Mark September 2001 Attacks That Killed Nearly 3,000


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The United States witnessed its deadliest terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Nineteen suicide bombers belonging to the terrorist outfit al-Qaida hijacked four passenger jets and crashed them into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the first foreign attack on U.S. soil in nearly two centuries.

Several people, including the families of those who lost loved ones in the attacks, will gather at the World Trade Center site Sunday to pay tribute to the lives lost. The family members will begin the annual reading of the names of the 2,977 people who died in New York, Arlington and Pennsylvania and the six people who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The reading will pause six times to mark the moments when the first plane struck the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. EDT, when the second plane crashed into the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. EDT, when Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. EDT, when the South Tower fell at 9:59 a.m. EDT, when Flight 95 crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. EDT and finally at 10:28 a.m. EDT when the North Tower fell.

At 8:46 a.m. EDT, the first pause, houses of worship across New York City will toll their bells as the crowd observes the annual moment of silence.

The number of people that attend the ceremony has fallen over the years but many believe that this year holding special significance and the day falling during a weekend might draw more numbers.

“Parents of the deceased are getting older, younger people usually can’t make it because of work obligations,” Tom Acquaviva told USA Today. Acquaviva’s 29-year-old son, Paul, died on 9/11. “But I hope this year you will see a lot more people than previous years.”

He added that he thinks of his son daily but there was something about the anniversary of the attacks. “My wife and I lost everything. You carry on, but you don’t move on,” he said.


Albert Biatta, of Queens, New York, prays while standing in front of the inscribed name of his uncle Antoine Biatta at the edge of the North Pool during memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sep. 11, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/JUSTIN LANE/POOL

The 15th anniversary of the attacks falls in the midst of the heated presidential elections. Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was a senator from New York during the attacks and New York native Donald Trump are scheduled to attend the memorial.

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