Seventeen years after the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States, American are commemorating 9/11 with somber tributes, volunteer projects and a new monument to victims.
Thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others have gathered at Tuesday’s anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center, with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence headed to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The president and first lady Melania Trump plan to join an observance at the Sept. 11 memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a new “Tower of Voices” was dedicated Saturday, while Pence is attending a ceremony at the Pentagon.
September 11, which claimed over 3000 lives, still shapes American policy, politics and everyday experiences in places from airports to office buildings.
Trump, a Republican and native New Yorker, took the occasion of last year’s anniversary to issue a stern warning to extremists that “America cannot be intimidated.”
The 9/11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, centered on reading the names of the dead. But each year at ground zero, victims’ relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, concern and inspiration.
Hours after the ceremony, two powerful light beams will soar into the night sky from lower Manhattan in the annual “Tribute in Light.”
This year’s anniversary comes as a heated midterm election cycle kicks into high gear. But there have long been some efforts to separate the solemn anniversary from politics.
Meanwhile, rebuilding continues – a subway station destroyed on 9/11 finally reopened Saturday.
In June, doors opened at the 80-story 3 World Trade Center, one of several rebuilt office towers that have been constructed or planned at the site.