The Fire Department of New York has held a memorial service to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
343 firefighters lost their lives when two hijacked passenger planes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
Friends and relatives of those who died and survived the attacks gathered at New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral.
President Barack Obama sent a video message:
“The terrorist threat has evolved, as we’ve seen so tragically from Boston to Chattanooga, from San Bernardino to Orlando. So in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond, we’ll stay relentless against terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL. We will destroy them and we’ll keep doing everything in our power to protect our homeland.”
Memorial services are being held across the United States to mark the anniversary.
In Washington on Friday, members of the US House of Representatives gathered on the steps outside the chamber for a remembrance ceremony.
They also sang “God Bless America”.
Recalling “that terrible day”, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Republican) praised the first responders “who went rushing into danger when the whole world was running away from it.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) told those assembled that because of the first responders’ heroic efforts, “Americans rose united” from the rubble of the attacks.
September 11, 2001
On Sept.11, 2001, four US commercial aeroplanes were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, as well as the Pentago building near Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania.
Almost 3,000 people were killed.
What they are saying
“Today is meant to be an uplifting day, a sign of our determination to move forward,” – US Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson.
The federal government’s return to the World Trade Center sends a “message to the entire world that we will never, ever renounce our values or be afraid,” – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.