Moment of silence marks 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks; bell tolls at ground zero

Victims’ relatives began marking the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 in a subdued gathering Friday at ground zero, with a moment of silence and sombre reading of names.

NEW YORK — Victims’ relatives began marking the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 in a subdued gathering Friday at ground zero, with a moment of silence and sombre reading of names.

Hundreds of victims’ relatives — fewer than thronged the ceremonies in their early years — gathered, carrying photos emblazoned with the names of their lost loved ones as they remembered the day when hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center’s twin towers, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“We come every year. The crowds get smaller, but we want to be here. As long as I’m breathing, I’ll be here,” said Tom Acquaviva, 81, who lost his son, Paul Acquaviva, a systems analyst who died in the trade centre’s north tower.

For Nereida Valle, who lost her daughter, Nereida De Jesus, “It’s the same as if it was yesterday. I feel her every day.”

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stepped out of the White House at 8:46 a.m. — when the first plane hit the north tower — to observe a moment of silence. Later Friday, President Obama was scheduled to observe the anniversary with a visit to Fort Meade, Maryland, in recognition of the military’s work to protect the country.

The Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania was marking the completion of its visitor centre, which opened to the public Thursday. At the Pentagon, Defence Secretary Ash Carter and other officials were joining in remembrances for victims’ relatives and Pentagon employees.

After years of private commemorations at ground zero, the anniversary now also has become an occasion for public reflection on the site of the terror attacks.

An estimated 20,000 people flocked to the memorial plaza on the evening of Sept. 11 last year, the first year the public was able to visit on the anniversary. The plaza was to open three hours earlier after the anniversary ceremony.

“When we did open it up, it was just like life coming in,” National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels said this week. While the memorial will still be reserved for victims’ relatives and other invitees during the morning ceremony, afterward, “the general public that wants to come and pay their respects on this most sacred ground should be let in as soon as possible.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canada prepares as WHO decides whether to declare global coronavirus emergency

Canadian public health agencies are ramping up preparations to deal with the… Continue reading

New virus could trigger travel sector woes akin to damage from SARS in 2003

MONTREAL — A deadly new virus that emerged in China is raising… Continue reading

Switzerland mints world’s smallest gold coin

BERLIN — No joke: Switzerland has minted a gold coin so small… Continue reading

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

OTTAWA — As the federal government moves to revise the law on… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

CFL to stage Toronto-Saskatchewan regular-season contest in Halifax

The CFL is returning to Halifax. A CFL source says the league… Continue reading

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris closes in on White’s X Games medal record

Mark McMorris is on the verge of Winter X Games history. Winning… Continue reading

Aerosmith drummer loses bid to rejoin band for Grammy honours

BOSTON — A judge has told Aerosmith’s drummer Joey Kramer to dream… Continue reading

Canadian superstars Shawn Mendes and Drake among nominees at the Grammys

TORONTO — From Shawn Mendes to Drake, the line-up of Canadian nominees… Continue reading

Gardening: Purchase seeds that fit your values and budget

Spring is only a few months away and it is time to… Continue reading

Ottawa pledges to match funds raised for families of Iran plane crash victims

TORONTO — The federal government promised Wednesday to match all contributions to… Continue reading

Union fined for violating court order in Regina refinery labour dispute

REGINA — A judge has fined a union that represents more than… Continue reading

Most Read