September 11 attacks remembered in US

Friday, September 11, 2009

After eight years, the 9/11 attacks have been remembered in New York, in the United States at the site of the former World Trade Center. Other memorial services were held at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

U.S. President Barack Obama attended a memorial service at the Pentagon. In a speech Obama stated, "Eight Septembers have come and gone. Nearly 3,000 days have passed; almost one for each of those taken from us. But no turning of the season can diminish the pain and the loss of that day. No passage of time and no dark skies can ever dull the meaning of this moment. So on this solemn day, at this sacred hour, once more we pause, once more we pray, as a nation and as a people. Today we honor the dead and speak to the survivors and loved ones whose lives are irrevocably changed on that terrible day eight years ago."

The names of every one of the 2,752 New York victims was read out. A new name appeared on the list today, that of Leon Heyward who died of lung cancer in 2008 that experts ruled was due to inhaling dangerous dust from the collapsed towers in New York City. He was on-site for hours assisting with rescues of colleagues.

Short eulogies were read by both New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and vice-president Joe Biden. Bloomberg said that "from this day forward, we will safeguard the memories of those who died by rekindling the spirit of service that lit our city with hope and helped keep us strong."

At exactly 8:46 a.m. a hush fell across the city, marking the exact moment the first jet struck its target. Two beams of light have been rigged up to point skywards overnight. Construction is ongoing for five new skyscrapers at the site, with a transportation center and memorial park in the middle.