9/11 anniversary: Services held to commemorate 15 years since attacks
Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton momentarily paused their bitter rivalry and separately joined the people at the 9/11 memorial in downtown Manhattan to honour the 2,977 people killed and the thousands left injured when al-Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.
Moments of silence were observed at precisely the time the planes struck the twin towers, the Pentagon and the one that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after its passengers overpowered the hijackers.
People carried pictures of their loved ones who died in the attacks and placed flowers and American flags in the names inscribed into bronze panels edging the twin reflecting pools at the memorial site.
The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood and the names of every person who died in the 2001 attacks as well as in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing are inscribed into the Memorial pools. Every year at the solemn and emotional ceremony, those who were killed in the attacks are remembered by not just their families but by hundreds of visitors and tourists who attend the commemoration.
The memorial is visited by thousands of city residents and tourists daily to offer homage to those killed in the attacks.
A new freedom tower, ‘One World Trade Centre’, now stands next to the memorial and a museum has also been erected that houses relics, including flags and equipment from the time the towers fell.
It tells the stories of the thousands of firefighters, ordinary citizens and law-enforcement authorities who helped save countless lives and toiled day and night to find the survivors in the wreckage.
The New York Police Department also held a memorial to remember those officers killed that day, reading out names of each of them.
“September 11, 2001 touched every single NYer, but the terrorists did not prevail, because 15 years later we are strong, and we are unified,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
9/11 pilot’s mother believes his son is still alive in Guantanamo
The mother of Mohammed Atta, one of the kamikaze hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center, says she believes her son is alive at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, in an interview published Sunday in Spain.
Bozaina Mohamed Mustafa Sheraqi told daily newspaper El Mundo that Atta -- one of the masterminds behind the September 11, 2001 attacks -- was the victim of an elaborate US plot and had done nothing wrong. “He is alive and this is the message I send my son. I think he is in Guantanamo. Son, I want to see you before I die. I am 74 and I live with the hope that you
have survived. I know you never did anything wrong and you never could have done what they say you did,” she told the newspaper by telephone from Cairo where she lives with her two daughters.
The United States “is hiding the truth. They are the ones who designed this attack to spread the idea that Islam is terrorism. They selected people with Arab passports to blame them and, at the same time, our nations and divide us,” she added. The newspaper said it was the first interview which Bozaina has granted since 9/11.