US to commemorate 9/11 as its aftermath extends and evolves

Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville Pa. participate in a sunset memorial service on Tuesday Sept. 10 2019 as the nation prepares to mark the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks

Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville Pa. participate in a sunset memorial service on Tuesday Sept. 10 2019 as the nation prepares to mark the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks

For the 18 anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, President Trump is scheduled to attend a ceremony at the Pentagon hosted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Almost 3,000 people were killed that day and thousands more were injured.

Former President George W. Bush, commander in chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, was due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon. A rocket exploded at the US embassy as the anniversary began in Afghanistan, where a post-9-11 invasion has become America's longest war.

September 11, 2001 changed the face of the United States and and left almost 3,000 dead at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 was forced to crash.

"Two years ago, on this occasion, I toured the memorial museum, and there, I took note of one of the possessions of a passenger that was recovered at the crash sight", Pence told a crowd during the 9/11 anniversary memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"For what your loved ones did for my little family and countless others in our nation's capital that day, thank you", the vice president said. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and his predecessors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani were among those who attended. "And that's the piece that I think we get from being here". The aim was to dislodge Afghanistan's then-ruling Taliban militants for harboring al-Qaida leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

The politics of 9/11 flowed into the ground zero ceremony, too. "I'm grateful that all of you are here today to hear it one more time". That's what "some people" did.

Relatives of victims of the attacks assembled at Ground Zero in Manhattan in New York City, where the observance Wednesday began with a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m. ET - the moment a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center's north tower. She tweeted Wednesday that "September 11th was an attack on all of us". As they read their names, family members added anecdotes about their loved ones, and read messages to them, often discussing those who carried on their legacy. She called her uncle, Abul Chowdhury, a "proud Muslim-American man who lived his life with a carefree nature, a zeal for adventure and a tenacity which I emulate every single day".

But there has been growing awareness in recent years of the suffering of another group of people tied to the tragedy: firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after exposure to the wreckage and the toxins unleashed in it.

A compensation fund for people with potentially September 11-related health problems has awarded more than $5.5 billion so far. More than 51,000 people have applied. The event will include moments of silence, marking when the Twin Towers were struck and fell, when the Pentagon was attacked, and when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. Over the summer, Congress made sure the fund won't run dry.

September 11 has become known also as a day of service.

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