New York, September 12: Prayers recited from mouths and tears dropped from eyes of thousands of Americans who marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday to commemorate the victims of the deadliest terror strikes on the US land.
Relatives began the solemn hours-long reading of the names of the dead were read out in a remembrance service at Ground Zero in New York on the site of the destroyed World Trade Center, where a memorial -- and a rebuilt Freedom Tower -- now stand.
It was the first foreign attack on the US mainland in almost two centuries and sparked US-led invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), where war rages on more than a decade later. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on September 11, 2001 when 19 Al-Qaeda suicide bombers hijacked four passenger jets, crashing them into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania
President Barack Obama, who observed a moment of silence said, “We remember, and we will never forget, the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly -- including 184 men, women and children here, the youngest just three years old. We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew. We come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years. And we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one American family”.
The 15th anniversary comes with the United States in the midst of a presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Both candidates temporarily put aside their enmity to attend the New York ceremony at the September 11 memorial alongside city dignitaries, relatives of those who perished and police officers.