NEW YORK (AP) — Americans commemorated 9/11 with solemn remembrances and vows to “never forget” 18 years after the deadliest terror attacks on American soil.
A crowd of victims’ relatives assembled at ground zero, where the observance began Wednesday with a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m. — the moment when a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center’s north tower.
“As long as the city will gift us this moment, I will be here,” Margie Miller said at the ground zero ceremony, which she attends every year. She lost her husband, Joel.
“Because I feel like if we don’t come, they don’t need to do it. And I want people to remember,” said Miller, of Baldwin, on Long Island. After so many years of anniversaries, she has come to know other victims’ relatives, and to appreciate being with them.
“There’s smiles in between the tears that say we didn’t do this journey on our own. That we were here for each other. And that’s the piece that I think we get from being here,” she said.
President Donald Trump is expected to join an observance at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Former President George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, is due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon.
The nation is still grappling with the aftermath of 9/11 at ground zero, in Congress and beyond. The attacks’ aftermath is visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan. A rocket exploded at the U.S. embassy as the anniversary began in Afghanistan, where a post-9/11 invasion has become America’s longest war.
The anniversary ceremonies center on remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked planes rammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001. All those victims’ names are read aloud at the ground zero ceremony.
But there has been growing awareness in recent years of the suffering of another group of people tied to the tragedy: firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after exposure to the wreckage and the toxins unleashed in it.
While research continues into whether those illnesses are tied to 9/11 toxins, a victims compensation fund for people with potentially Sept. 11-related health problems has awarded more than $5.5 billion so far. Over 51,000 people have applied.
After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won’t run dry . Trump, a Republican and a New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, signed the measure in July.
The sick gained new recognition this year at the memorial plaza at ground zero, where the new 9/11 Memorial Glade was dedicated this spring.
The tribute features six large stacks of granite inlaid with salvaged trade center steel, with a dedication “to those whose actions in our time of need led to their injury, sickness, and death.” No one is named specifically.
Some 9/11 memorials elsewhere already included sickened rescue, recovery and cleanup workers, and there is a remembrance wall entirely focused on them in Nesconset, on Long Island. But those who fell ill or were injured, and their families, say having a tribute at ground zero carries special significance.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced Monday that its 9/11 memorial will close next week for electrical and lighting work. The project, expected to take until late May, includes repairs to lighting glitches in the shallow reflecting pools under the memorial benches.
Sept. 11 is known not only as a day for remembrance and patriotism, but also as a day of service. People around the country continue to volunteer at food banks, schools, home-building projects, park cleanups and other charitable endeavors on and near the anniversary.
Never forget. This was our Pearl Harbor, and it is for that reason we can’t ever allow it to pass from memory, lest we be caught unawares again.
I personal believe that 911 was a inside job. Did you know that there were over 500 videos or cameras at the Pentagon and how come they didn’t show of the missile that actual hit at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001? No evidence of the plane crashed at this site. Why did the US government refused to released of 500 videos or cameras to the public? Did you know that FBI turned off the traffic lights with the cameras at nearby the Pentagon? Many witnesses have seen the “missile” shot at the Pentagon by the US AIR FORCE!!!!!! Hard to believe. HUH?!!! Remember the plane were shot down at somewhere in Pennsylvania? Where was the plane? Very strange.
NY Police and NY Firefighters have heard the exploded or bomb went off at the World Trade Center. There are NO such thing that fires caused the steel collapse of the World Trade Center.
How come the media don’t talk about Building number 7 that did collapsed?
President Bush and his administration were behind this scene. Remember his father, George Sr have tried to push NEW WORLD ORDER. Remember his speech on September 11, 1990. Yes on September 11, 1990, he was the first President have said or mentioned NEW WORLD ORDER.
As you know back in December 7, 1941 Japan bombed at Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt knew of their planned. US Government have allowed Japan to killed our US Navy and destroyed our battleships. Why? because US Government wanted to enter into the war against the Germany and Japan.
Can you image it what if Hillary Clinton won the election? It may possible she would have allowed the terrorist to bomb at America. I admitted it, I have thought maybe when Obama took the office, he could have allowed the Muslim, you get the meaning? Thanks God it never happened!!!!!!
Remember after 911, many Americans were rooting for Patriots? Millions of US flags and etc? Now? many young Generations are not rooting for USA. Especially Democrats and liberal. NUTS!!!!!
It was a very sad day of September 11th. And remember our grandparents were sad about December 7, 1941.
Thanks for your comment TEP336!
God bless! Maranatha!
Thanks for your comment Jim!
I don’t know what actually happened on 9/11, and we may never know the truth until we are in heaven. The point is that it was a very evil and disastrous day and it should make all of us sit up and wake up! We should never forget what happened or the lives that were lost and those that were injured on that day! It was a turning point, a demarcation of the end times, a line that was drawn in the sand which was crossed and we can never go back! Whatever happened on that day it was satanically driven that’s for sure!
God bless! Maranatha!
I am so sorry, but I have accidentally deleted your last comment my friend! All comments for some reason or another end up in the trash folder and I have to go through each one of them every day, separating the good from the spam, sort of like the wheat from the chaff, or the sheep from the goats. Anyway, I guess I was in too big of a hurry or just not quite awake yet, probably both.
God bless! Maranatha!
No worries, do you happen to recall which post I was commenting on?
It was either this one: “Iran seizes new boat near Strait of Hormuz as tensions spiral” or this one: “Trump says US locked and loaded in response to drone attack”