By Sandra G. Leon
The 19th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States were commemorated with a moment of silence at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and an empty field in Pennsylvania where one of the hijacked airliners crashed.
The memorial at Ground Zero was a collection of flowers, US flags, and cards left by family members and visitors, but unlike past years, relatives of the 2,606 people killed at the site will not read out the names of victims due to COVID-19 restrictions and precautions; instead, a recording of a previous year’s announcement will be played.
Vice-President Mike Pence and former Vice-President Joe Biden attended the ceremony at Ground Zero, and even met up, both wearing face masks, and exchanged a pandemic-friendly elbow bump.
Four moments of silence will be held at the exact times each of the planes struck the buildings and when each building collapsed.
American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World trade Center South Tower and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the North Tower. Of the 2,753 killed, 343 were NYC firefighters, and 71 police officers. Only 1,644 victims were positively identified.
At the Pentagon, a small service was held to honor the 125 people that died, including 55 military personnel, when a hijacked plane crashing into the home of the US Defense Department. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was not open to the public or family members.
And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the crash site of Flight 93, President Trump joined families and visitors in remembering the victims aboard the highjacked airliner that crashed after passengers stormed the cockpit to confront the terrorists. All 44 people aboard, including 4 hijackers, died when the plane crashed into an empty field while on its way back toward Washington, D.C.
Each year, memorial events are held to honor those that died and to remember the sacrifices of first responders who worked to help victims at both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In all, 2,974 people died in the terrorist attacks that were carried out by 19 hijackers.