Relatives of the September 11 victims gathered at Ground Zero yesterday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the attack that killed almost 3,000 people. The moment of silence on Wednesday marked when the first plane hit the Twin Towers on a clear, sunny day in 2001. Then, families of the victims started reading aloud the names of those who died.
The names of those who died when the hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were read out at the ceremony at the two-year-old memorial plaza. Names of those killed in the hijacked Flight 93 and the victims of the 1993 trade centre bombing were also read aloud.
Officials, including former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his successor Michael Bloomberg, observed a citywide moment of silence at the time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, with a second pause later when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower.
In Washington, US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden marked the first moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House, as a bell tolled. “It is an honour to be with you here again to remember the tragedy of 12 Septembers ago, to honour the greatness of all who responded and to stand with those who still grieve and to provide them some measure of comfort once more,” Obama said.
Blasts rip Libya
Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded early Wednesday morning in Benghazi on the one-year anniversary of the US Consulate attack, and twelve years after the Twin Towers in New York were destroyed.The bomb damaged Libya’s Foreign Ministry building and the Central Bank of Libya. Benghazi residents say that had the explosion taken place just one hour later, there would have likely been casualties. Some bystanders were injured by shards of glass from the windows.
The explosion was very powerful, destroying the vehicle, which contained a large quantity of explosives. The explosion in Benghazi is a reminder of the attack one year ago on September 11, 2012 on the US Consulate, which took the lives of four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens.