15 years after 9/11: the US remembers

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By Sarah Taylor  with Politico, Reuters
15 years after 9/11: the US remembers

New York, Washington and Pennsylvania have fallen silent to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.

Fifteen years into this fight the threat has evolved.

Barack Obama President of the United States

Almost 3,000 people died after four passenger planes were hijacked by Al Qaeda militants.

The first targets hit were the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York. The North building burned for over an hour and a half, the South for some 56 minutes.

Both then collapsed to the ground in a matter of seconds, irrevocably changing the political and actual landscape in the US and creating what is now referred to as Ground Zero.

A further commercial aircraft was flown into the Pentagon near Washington, while passengers brought the fourth down over Pennsylvania. Memorial services have been held across the US in honour of those who lost their lives.

President Barack Obama vowed the government would keep doing everything in its power to protect the nation.

“Perhaps, most of all, we stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country but also our ideals,” he later told the loved ones of those who died.

“Fifteen years into this fight the threat has evolved. Groups like Al-Qaeda, like ISIL know that they will never be able to defeat a nation as great, as strong as America, so, instead they try to terrorise in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other.”

Nineteen Al Qaeda hijackers died in the attacks, which led the then-US President George W Bush to declare a war on terror. This in turn led to the deployment of US troops in Afghanistan, where there is still a reduced military presence today.

September 11 - Now and then