Ceremonies to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the appalling events of 9/11 are taking place in the United States and around the globe. The 2001 suicide attack once and forever divided world history into before and after 9/11.
People of different ages, backgrounds, faiths and nationalities have joined together to honor the victims of the deadliest ever terror attack on American soil, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
As tribute to the victims of 9/11 attacks twin beams of light were being projected from Ground Zero up into the sky, streaming heavenward.
President Obama gave a speech at a commemorative event, the Healing the World Concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
A major memorial ceremony was taking place in New York City at Ground Zero, the exact place where the World Trade Center once stood. US President Barack Obama has arrived in New York to lead the country in mourning the lives lost in the terror attacks. The ceremonies were taking place in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Joined by George W Bush, Obama has observed a moment of silence beside the reflecting pool at the World Trade Center site in New York.
The names of all the victims were read out by relatives at the memorial event in lower Manhattan.
Moments of silence were observed at the time when the planes crashed into their targets on September 11. Houses of worship tolled their bells across New York City. Families of the victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks read the names of their late loved ones in pairs.
Various events took place in the Washington, DC, area commemorating the attack on the Pentagon that killed 184 people.
A memorial also took place in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed to the ground. Former US Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and current Vice-President Joe Biden joined families of those killed.
A monument dedicated to the victims of the tragedy was unveiled in New York, AP reports. The monument was opened during the memorial ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The anniversary of the tragic events is also being marked abroad.
The Coliseum in Rome was lit up in memory of the victims of the hellish attacks. Pope Benedict XVI is praying for the victims of the 9/11 tragic events and is calling on world leaders and others to resist what he calls the “temptation toward hatred.”
An American flag inscribed with the names of the 9/11 victims was raised at dawn at a US military base in Afghanistan. A memorial service was also held at the US Embassy in Kabul.
A ceremony was also held in Japan, which by coincidence is marking the half a year since the disastrous earthquake and tsunami which struck the country on March 11. A dozen of Japanese nationals, employees of the Fuji Bank died in their office at the Twin Towers in New York City.
Their relatives have attended a memorial at the bank headquarters in Tokyo.
According to the New York Times, the 9/11 terror attacks cost America some US$3.3 trillion, 7 million times more than Al-Qaeda spent to destroy the Twin Towers. With US$1,649 billion spent only for war funding and related costs the total price the US had to pay amounted one-fifth of the current national debt.