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Families remain at heart of Sept 11 commemorations

By WILLIAM HENNELLY in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-09-09 09:24

A rose is placed on a victim's name at The National September 11 Memorial & Museum on Aug 2, 2022 in New York City. [Photo//Agencies]

Families of the victims of the Sept 11 attacks will once again gather in New York's Lower Manhattan to honor their loved ones in a commemoration on Sunday that organizers are working to ensure loses none of its significance for the nation with each passing year.

On the 21st anniversary of the deadliest act of terrorism suffered by the United States, the relatives will read aloud the names of those killed in both the Sept 11 attacks and in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

"The 21st-anniversary commemoration ceremony will take place on the Memorial plaza and focus on an in-person reading of the names by family members," according to the website of the 9/11 Memorial &Museum in New York. "Throughout the ceremony, we will observe six moments of silence, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell and the times of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93."

The program will begin at 8:30 am, and the first moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 am, the time when the first hijacked plane was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

That plane was American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 aircraft that had departed Logan Airport in Boston at 7:59 am en route to Los Angeles with a crew of 11 and 76 passengers, along with five of the 19 al-Qaida hijackers who had commandeered four planes that day.

The 9/11 attacks killed 2,977 people, injured more than 25,000, and left many people with substantial long-term health consequences. Among the dead were 340 firefighters and 72 police officers.

Infrastructure and property damage has been put at $10 billion.

In addition to the New York memorial and museum, other tributes will take place at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial at the plane's crash site in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania.

The US and its allies responded to the attacks by launching a war in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden was based. That two-decade war concluded with a chaotic, deadly withdrawal of US forces in August 2021.

History revisited

The hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Some 184 people died as a result of that attack.

On Saturday, the museum in New York will close to the public at 2 pm so that members of the 9/11 community-including first responders, relief workers, and the families of those who have died from 9/11-related illnesses-can visit exclusively.

"The 20 years after 9/11 decimated the responder community. The next 20 years is going to eradicate the 9/11 responders," John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, an advocacy group for 9/11 responders and survivors, told Fox News Digital. He is fighting for more funding from Congress for responders and survivors harmed on that day.

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