As darkness fell on New York, two shafts of light shone eerily skywards from Ground Zero -representing the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center.
America marked the eighth anniversary of the September 11 atrocities with a series of modest ceremonies. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle paid their respects at a solemn service in Washington to remember the 184 people who died in the attack on the Pentagon military complex. “Most of all, on a day when others sought to sap our confidence, let us renew our common purpose. Let us remember how we came together as a nation, as one people, as Americans, united not only in our grief but in our resolve to stand with one another,” said the President. At Ground Zero relatives of the hijackers’ victims read out their names. Ilia Rodriguez, a still grieving mother said: “When the first tower started collapsing, he was there. That’s why I have to be here, because my son is here. He was born in Puerto Rico, but he went to heaven from this place. So I have to come here every year for the rest of my life.” Tiffany Ramsaroop, whose father died in the twin towers attack said: “It’s difficult to see the place, I haven’t been here for so long, so it’s kind of difficult just to be around here and see where he used to work.” Two thousand, seven hundred and fifty two people died in Lower Manhatten in the attack. In total, nearly 3,000 people were killed when four hijacked flights were deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.