Relatives of 9/11 victims gather at sites of attack for 14th anniversary

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Today marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City. 

Relatives of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks are gathered in New York, Pennsylvania and outside Washington on Friday to mark the 14th anniversary of the hijacked airliner strikes carried out by al-Qaida militants.

September 11 Remembering

The ceremony in New York followed a familiar pattern. The names of those killed were read aloud at the empty footprint of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, toppled by two hijacked airliners on the sunny morning in 2001.

Hijackers crashed two other commercial jets into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The New York ceremony was punctuated by moments of silence to mark the times when each of the four planes crashed and the towers fell.

In Washington, Barack Obama observed a moment of silence to mark the anniversary at the White House. Obama will also hold a town hall-style meeting with military service members at Fort Meade, an army base in Maryland.

Defense secretary Ash Carter is due to host a private remembrance for relatives of those killed at the Pentagon.

Relatives of the 40 passengers and crew members who died aboard United Airlines flight 93 are set to gather at the newly dedicated Flight 93 national memorial in Shanksville.

In New York, the buzz of increased commerce from new residential and business towers has returned a large degree of normality to the area known after the attacks as Ground Zero. Next to the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site where the Twin Towers stood is the newly opened 1 World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere.

“We are not going to deviate from how it was done in the past. We’ll start at 8.46am and the reading of names by family members won’t likely be done for a few hours,” Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the 9/11 Memorial in New York, said of Friday’s ceremony.

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The first plane crashed into the north tower at 8.46am, followed by a second plane hitting the south tower at 9.03am.

The Justice Department said on Thursday a 20-year-old Florida man had beenarrested and accused of plotting to detonate a pressure-cooker bomb at a memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, to commemorate the 9/11 attacks.

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