us-marks-21st-anniversary-of-9/11-terror-attacks

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US Marks 21st Anniversary of 9/11 Terror Attacks %%item_date%% %%item_source%%
Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

A tolling bell and a moment of silence began the commemoration at ground zero in New York, where the World Trade Center’s twin towers were destroyed by the hijacked-plane attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Firefighter Jimmy Riches’ namesake nephew wasn’t born yet when his uncle died, but the boy took the podium to pay tribute to him.

“You’re always in my heart. And I know you are watching over me,” he said after reading a portion of the nearly 3,000 victims’ names.

Victims’ relatives and dignitaries also convened at the two other attack sites, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Other communities around the country are marking the day with candlelight vigils, interfaith services and other commemorations. Some Americans are joining in volunteer projects on a day that is federally recognized as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

More than two decades later, Sept. 11 remains a point for reflection on the attack that reconfigured national security policy and spurred a U.S. “war on terror” worldwide. Sunday’s observances, which follow a fraught milestone anniversary last year, come little more than a month after a U.S. drone strike killed a key al-Qaida figure who helped plot the 9/11 attacks, Ayman al-Zawahri.

>> BEFORE THE 9/11 MEMORIAL, BEFORE THE MUSEUM, THERE WAS THE TRIBUTE IN LIGHT. THE MEMORIAL THAT REALLY EVOKES THE MEMORIAL THAT REALLY EVOKES A GHOSTLY IMAGE OF THE TWIN TOWERS NEAR TO WHERE THEY ONCE STOOD. AND CREWS SPENT LAST NIGHT TESTING THE GIANT STREAMS OF LIGHT AHEAD OF THIS WEEKENDu2019S ANNIVERSARY. >> Reporter: THERE ARE 88 LIGHTS. EACH SWITCH FLIPPED BY HAND PRODUCING THE ICONIC MEMORIAL TO PRODUCING THE ICONIC MEMORIAL TO 9/11 KNOWN AS THE TRIBUTE IN LIGHT. >> ITu2019S AN EXPRESSION OF THE >> ITu2019S AN EXPRESSION OF THE SPIRITUAL IN ALMOST PHYSICAL FORM. AND I THINK THATu2019S WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECTACULAR. >> Reporter: FOR 21 YEARS, THIS SIMPLE GESTURE HAS SERVED AS A WORLDWIDE SYMBOL OF REFLECTION. WE WERE THERE AS THE PRODUCERS TESTED THEIR WORK OF ART AHEAD OF SUNDAYu2019S ANNIVERSARY. >> ITu2019S A BEAUTIFUL MEMORIAL AND IT JUST IS WHAT IT IS. IT JUST IS WHAT IT IS. ITu2019S NOT A SPEECH. ITu2019S NOT — IT IS WHATEVER IT IS TO EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON. TO EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON. THATu2019S ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT IT. >> Reporter: THE TRIBUTE IN LIGHT SHINES FOUR MILES INTO THE NIGHT SKY AND CAN BE SEEN FROM 60 MILES AWAY. THE BEAMS REQUIRE AS MUCH POWER AS AN ENTIRE APARTMENT BUILDING. AND THEN THEREu2019S THE MAN POWER. >> THE FIRST FEW DAYS WE HAVE ABOUT 40 PEOPLE HERE GETTING ABOUT 40 PEOPLE HERE GETTING EVERYTHING SET UP AND WE GO TO 2025. >> Reporter: AT FIRST THE LIGHTS ORIGINATED FROM GROUND ZERO, BUT ORIGINATED FROM GROUND ZERO, BUT NOW THEYu2019RE SET ATOP THE BATTERY PARKING GARAGE JUST SOUTH OF THE MEMORIAL. >> LOOK AT THIS GREAT OPEN SPACE. >> Reporter: THEREu2019S ALSO A NEW TRADITION THAT STARTED LAST YEAR WHERE OTHER BUILDINGS ARE INVITE WHERE OTHER BUILDINGS ARE INVITE INVITED TO LIGHT UP IN BLUE, CREATING A MOU POSTERIORFUL EFFECT. >> WHEN YOU SEE THE LIGHTS IT IS >> WHEN YOU SEE THE LIGHTS IT IS ABOUT MEMORY, THE LOSS OF THE BUILDINGS AND ITu2019S ABOUT THE SOULS OF THE PEOPLE AND GOING UP TO THE HEAVENS. IT ALSO IS ABOUT OUR RESILIENCE AS A CITY.”,”video_id”:”2070638147603_960″,”video_length”:”117218″,”video_provider”:”mpx”,”short_video_excerpt”:””,”mpx_download_pid_mobile_low”:”Pgy6k3UVQfkK”,”pid_streaming_web_mobile_low”:””,”mpx_download_pid_mobile_standard”:”Z4u_lq6L30Du”,”pid_streaming_mobile_standard”:”ilYi4lrR485B”,”alleypack_schedule_unpublish”:””,”feed_remote_id”:”mpx_2070638147603″,”feed_thumbnail_url”:””}’ data-livestream=”false” data-title=”Watch the Test Run for ‘Tribute In Light’ to Remember 9/11 Victims” data-vidcid=”1:2:3857518″ data-vidurl=”https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/watch-the-test-run-for-tribute-in-light-to-remember-9-11-victims/3857518/” data-islead=”false” data-catnames='{“65″:”Local”,”64″:”News”,”501″:”9/11 Anniversary”}’ data-tagnames='{“107″:”New York City”,”758111″:”Sept. 11 attacks”}’ data-customdata='{“ContentPartner”:”None”,”Source”:”WEBFM”,”SyndicationAllowed”:”true”,”mSNVideoCategories”:”MSN Video v4 Connector-most watched news”,”mSNVideoContentSupplierID”:”NBC_Local”,”mSNVideoCountry”:”us”,”subtitle”:”nosubtitle”,”uploadedByTeam”:”1″,”youtubeChannel”:”None”}’ data-autoplay=”false” data-cplay=”true”>

On Sunday, President Joe Biden plans to speak and lay a wreath at the Pentagon, while first lady Jill Biden is scheduled to speak in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked planes went down after passengers and crew members tried to storm the cockpit as the hijackers headed for Washington. Al-Qaida conspirators had seized control of the jets to use them as passenger-filled missiles.

Vice President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff are due at the National Sept. 11 Memorial in New York, but by tradition, no political figures speak at the ground zero ceremony. It centers instead on victims’ relatives reading aloud the names of the dead.

Readers often add personal remarks that form an alloy of American sentiments about Sept. 11 — grief, anger, toughness, appreciation for first responders and the military, appeals to patriotism, hopes for peace, occasional political barbs, and a poignant accounting of the graduations, weddings, births and daily lives that victims have missed.

Some relatives also lament that a nation which came together — to some extent — after the attacks has since splintered apart. So much so that federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, which were reshaped to focus on international terrorism after 9/11, now see the threat of domestic violent extremism as equally urgent.

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