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US marks 20th anniversary of 9/11

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President Joe Biden said the United States must come together and lead the world by example.

Katie Mascali is comforted by her fiance Andre Jabban as they stand near the name of her father Joseph Mascali, with FDNY Rescue 5, commemorating September 11 attacks, in Manhattan, New York City. [Craig Ruttle via Reuters]

Katie Mascali is comforted by her fiance Andre Jabban as they stand near the name of her father Joseph Mascali, with FDNY Rescue 5, commemorating September 11 attacks, in Manhattan, New York City. [Craig Ruttle via Reuters]12 Sep 2021

The United States marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with pleas for unity at solemn ceremonies given added resonance by the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the return to power of the Taliban.

At the September 11 memorial in New York, relatives wiped away tears, their voices breaking as they read out the names of the almost 3,000 people killed in the attacks, the deadliest in US history.

The service at “Ground Zero” where most died – some of whom jumped to their deaths from the burning towers of the World Trade Center – took place under tight security, with Lower Manhattan effectively locked down.

The first of six moments of silence was marked at 8:46am, with a bell ringing to symbolise the time the first hijacked plane crashed into the North Tower.

At 9:03am, attendees stood still again to mark the moment the South Tower was struck. At 9:37 am, it was the Pentagon, where the hijacked airliner killed 184 people in the plane and on the ground.

At 9:59am, the moment the South Tower fell. At 10:03 am, they remembered the fourth plane to crash in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers fought the hijackers. And at 10:28am, the North Tower falling.

The memorials come less than two weeks since the last American soldiers left Kabul, ending the so-called “forever war”.

Flags adorn the names of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum's memorial pools in New York. [Craig Ruttle/EPA]
Flags adorn the names of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s memorial pools in New York. [Craig Ruttle/EPA]
Flowers are seen on the 9/11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. [Mike Segar via EPA]
Flowers are seen on the 9/11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. [Mike Segar via EPA]
People at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. [Will Oliver/EPA]
People at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. [Will Oliver/EPA]
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, family members of passengers on Flight 93 return from the spot where the plane went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, family members of passengers on Flight 93 return from the spot where the plane went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
An American flag is seen at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. [Michael Reynolds/EPA]
An American flag is seen at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. [Michael Reynolds/EPA]
The names of the crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 are etched in the glass structure at the 9/11 Memorial at Logan International Airport near Boston. [CJ Gunther/EPA]
The names of the crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 are etched in the glass structure at the 9/11 Memorial at Logan International Airport near Boston. [CJ Gunther/EPA]
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Friends of Flight 93 hosted the Luminaria Ceremony at Flight 93 National Memorial Plaza in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Forty passengers and crew on the flight were killed when they attempted to regain control of the hijacked plane on September 11, 2001.  [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Friends of Flight 93 hosted the Luminaria Ceremony at Flight 93 National Memorial Plaza in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Forty passengers and crew on the flight were killed when they attempted to regain control of the hijacked plane on September 11, 2001. [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
Members of the New York Fire Department mark a moment of silence close to Ground Zero during commemorations at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. [Will Oliver/EPA]
Members of the New York Fire Department mark a moment of silence close to Ground Zero during commemorations at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. [Will Oliver/EPA]
Bagpipers perform in front of a truck carrying 23 tonnes of steel from the structure of the Twin Towers parked in front of The Richard Nixon Library and Museum during the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Yorba Linda, California. [Etienne Laurent/EPA]
Bagpipers perform in front of a truck carrying 23 tonnes of steel from the structure of the Twin Towers parked in front of The Richard Nixon Library and Museum during the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Yorba Linda, California. [Etienne Laurent/EPA]
Former US President George W Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush participate in a ceremony to honour the passengers of Flight 93 in Shanksville. [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
Former US President George W Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush participate in a ceremony to honour the passengers of Flight 93 in Shanksville. [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the National 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. [Yuri Gripas via EPA]
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the National 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. [Yuri Gripas via EPA]
The Tribute in Light shines up from Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2021, in New York City. [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via AFP]
The Tribute in Light shines up from Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2021, in New York City. [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via AFP]

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