Memorial ceremonies are underway to mark the seventh anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
As usual, much of the focus is on New York, where the World Trade Center collapsed. Relatives of those who died gathered at Ground Zero to remember their loved ones. There, and at other sites of the mass killings, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims were being read out.
Four hijacked passenger planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania.
In the capital, President George W. Bush observed a moment’s silence at the White House. Later, he dedicated a new memorial to those killed at the Pentagon and evoked what his administration calls its “war on terror”.
President Bush said: “Thanks to the brave men and women and all those who worked to keep us safe, there has not been another attack on our soil in 2,557 days.”
This is the last time that Bush will observe the September 11 anniversary as US president. The two men vying to replace him, Barack Obama and John McCain, were set to lay wreaths in honour of victims at Ground Zero later.
Seven years on, US officials still put the blame for the attacks on al Qaeda, whose leader Osama bin Laden has boasted of being their mastermind.