The United States celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with pleas for unity during ceremonial ceremonies added by the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the return of Taliban rule.
At the Sept. 11 memorial service in New York, family members wiped away tears as their voices broke as they read out the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks, the deadliest in American history.
The service at Ground Zero where most died – some of whom jumped to their deaths from the burning towers of the World Trade Center – took place under strict security, while Lower Manhattan was effectively locked.
The first of six moments of silence was marked at 8:46 a.m., with a bell ringing to symbolize the time when the first hijacked plane crashed into the North Tower.
At 09:03, the participants stopped again to mark the moment when the South Tower was hit. At 09:37 it was the Pentagon, where the hijacked plane killed 184 people in the plane and on the ground.
At 9:59 a.m., the moment the South Tower falls. At 10:03 a.m., they remember the fourth plane crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers battled the hijackers. And at 10:28 the North Tower falls.
The memorials come less than two weeks since the last U.S. troops left Kabul, ending the so-called “eternal war.”