US commemorates 9/11; 1000s expected at ground zero

2017-09-11 10:23
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - While the US contends with the destruction caused by two ferocious hurricanes in three weeks, Americans also are marking the anniversary of one of the nation's most scarring days.

Thousands of 9/11 victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected to gather on Monday at the World Trade Centre to remember the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

Sixteen years later, the quiet rhythms of commemoration have become customs: a recitation of all the names of the dead, moments of silence and tolling bells, and two powerful light beams that shine through the night.

Yet each ceremony also takes on personal touches. Over the years, some name-readers have added messages ranging from the universal ("the things we think separate us really don't - we're all part of this one Earth") to the personal ("I love you and miss you. Go Packers!").

"Thank you, New York, for continuing to honour the victims of 9/11 and the privilege of reading their names," Judy Bram Murphy added last year. She lost her husband, Brian Joseph Murphy.

Nearly 3 000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the trade centre, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001, hurling America into a new consciousness of the threat of global terrorism.

Apolitical

President Donald Trump, a native New Yorker observing the anniversary for the first time as the nation's leader, is scheduled to observe a moment of silence at about the time the first plane hit. The White House said he is to be joined by First Lady Melania Trump.

The ceremony amid the waterfall pools and lines of trees on the National September 11 Memorial plaza strives to be apolitical: Politicians can attend, but since 2011, they haven't been allowed to read names or deliver remarks.

Yet last year's 15th-anniversary ceremony became entangled in the narrative of a fractious presidential campaign when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton left abruptly, stumbled into a van and ultimately revealed she'd been diagnosed days earlier with pneumonia.

The episode fed into questions that then-Republican-nominee Trump had repeatedly raised about Clinton's stamina and transparency. She took three days off to recover, and Trump used footage of her stagger in a campaign ad.

Trump has often invoked his memories of 9/11 to highlight his hometown's resilience and responders' bravery.

Some of his recollections have raised eyebrows, particularly remarks while talking about Muslims that "thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the towers fell. There is no evidence in news archives of mass celebrations by Muslims there.

Meanwhile, rebuilding and reimagining continues at ground zero. The third of four planned office towers is set to open next year; so is a Greek Orthodox church, next to the trade centre site, that was crushed by the South Tower's collapse.

Work toward a $250 million performing arts centre continues after a design was unveiled last fall.

Most recently, plans were announced this spring to transform a grassy clearing on the memorial plaza into a walkway and area dedicated to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, including those who died of illnesses years after being exposed to smoke, dust and ash at ground zero.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  9/11

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.