On the sixth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans are pausing to commemorate the tragedy.
In New York, where most of the victims died, the city marked the event with four moments of silence – two for when each plane hit one of the World Trade Center Towers and two for the moments when each building fell.
Families gathered and left flowers for their lost loved ones at ground zero. Unlike previous years, the names of the more than 2,700 victims were read by firefighters and first responders (rather than family members) in Zuccotti Park, a small public park instead of at the World Trade Center site.
Also new this year is the death toll, which has increased by one. Earlier this year, the city ruled that the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones of lung disease was caused by exposure to toxic trade center dust, and her name will be added to the list of victims.
In addition, all around the city, the anniversary will be remembered in churches, local community centers and museums. The New-York Historical Society will host an opening reception for the exhibit “Here Is New York: Remembering 9/11/01.” At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a concert entitled “An Evening of Remembrance and Celebration” will be held. After dark, A Tribute in Light – giant beams of light mean to represent the fallen towers – will be turned on.
In Washington D.C., among other events, at Arlington County Justice Center, a Commemorative Observance ceremony was held at 9:15 a.m., the moment American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. There will be a moment of silence followed by the ringing of a bell for each of the 184 victims. And at the National Cathedral, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will lead an interfaith remembrance mass.
All over the country smaller commemorative events will be held as well. On Monday Sept. 10, a traveling memorial took off from Columbia, S.C, for a national tour. The memorial features a 4-ton steel beam, which was made in South Carolina and will eventually be used as part of the permanent National September 11 Memorial and Museum at ground zero.
Local officials signed and family members of victims wrote messages of remembrance on the beam for the exhibit, which includes photos and a minute-by-minute timeline of the disaster.