New York commemorates 17th anniversary of Sept 11 terrorist attacks

The nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center were remembered in New York City on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks in 2001.
A young boy and his mother look down into the South Pool during observances held on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, at the Ground Zero memorial site in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.
A young boy and his mother look down into the South Pool during observances held on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, at the Ground Zero memorial site in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.PHOTO: AFP
VIDEO: REUTERS
A Port Authority Police Officer looks down into the South Pool during observances held on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the annual ceremony at the Ground Zero memorial site, in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.
A Port Authority Police Officer looks down into the South Pool during observances held on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the annual ceremony at the Ground Zero memorial site, in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.PHOTO: AFP
Firefighters and police officers carry an American flag that once flew over the World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.
Firefighters and police officers carry an American flag that once flew over the World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, on Sept 11, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - New York on Tuesday (Sept 11) honoured the nearly 3,000 people killed on Sept 11, 2001, in a ceremony at Ground Zero, the site where hijacked Al-Qaeda planes brought down the Twin Towers.

The 17th anniversary was commemorated in fog and gentle rain by relatives of those who were killed, police officers, firefighters and officials, who remembered what remains the deadliest single attack on US soil.

They gathered at the National September 11 Memorial and marked moments of silences at 8.46am and 9.03am, the exact times that the passenger jets struck the North and South Towers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Mayor Bill de Blasio, together with his predecessors, Mr Michael Bloomberg and Mr Rudy Giuliani, were among those who attended.

"It is not a day to give speeches, it is not a day to talk about politics. It's about the heart," said Ms Alice Greenwald, director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

"We need to stand together, that's the only way we can deal with that kind of pain."

In what has become an annual tradition, relatives began reading out the long list of those who were killed, saying a few words about those who died, in a ceremony that takes longer than three hours.

 
 

The New York Stock Exchange also marked a moment of silence at 9.20am and fire stations welcomed relatives of those who were killed. The department suffered a particularly heavy blow, with a total of 343 dead.

In addition to those killed on Sept 11, thousands of first responders, construction workers and residents have since developed illnesses, many of them terminal, as a result of inhaling the toxic fumes.

Al-Qaeda hijacked a total of four planes that day. The third hit the Pentagon, and the fourth, Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.