New York, Sep 11 (EFE).- Ceremonies are being held Sunday across the United States to mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Members of the public, relatives of the victims and politicians gathered at the former site in Lower Manhattan of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, which were destroyed by Al Qaeda suicide hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001.
A minute of silence was observed at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time when the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.
The reading of the names of the nearly 3,000 victims started a minute later.
As in previous years, minutes of silence were held at 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 9:59 a.m., 10:03 a.m. and 10:28 a.m., the key times in the timeline of the terrorist attacks 15 years ago.
The minute of silence at 9:03 a.m. marked the time when United Airlines flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.
Another minute of silence was observed at 9:37 a.m., when American Airlines flight 77 hit the Pentagon 15 years ago.
The north tower of the World Trade center collapsed at 10:28 a.m. on the day of the attacks.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival, Donald Trump, attended the ceremony at Ground Zero.
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, spoke at the Pentagon, where 184 people died when American Airlines flight 77 struck the building 15 years ago.
“Your steadfast love and faithfulness has been an inspiration to me” and all Americans, Obama said, praising those who committed themselves to “defending not only our country, but our ideals.”
A ceremony is also being held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed after passengers fought with the terrorists who had taken control of the plane, preventing them from striking a target in Washington.
A total of 40 people were aboard the plane, the only one that failed to hit its target, believed to be either the White House or the Capitol.
The passengers, who had learned about the attack on New York, decided to storm the cabin and sacrifice themselves to prevent a larger loss of life.
The plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, killing everyone aboard.
The terrorist attacks staged by Al Qaeda targeted the country’s financial and political nerve centers.
The United States launched a global war on terror that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 armed forces members in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. EFE