Bells were rung and the names of nearly 3,000 people were read out in somber ceremonies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Monday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attack on the United States.
Vice President Kamala Harris and current and former mayors of New York joined victims' families at the 9/11 memorial on the site of the World Trade Center twin towers brought down by two aircraft flown by hijackers.
The names of the more than 2,600 who died in New York were read out by family members and young relatives not alive at the time of the attack.
"I wish I had a chance to really know you. Everyone in the family misses you. We will never forget," said the grandson of firefighter Allan Tarasiewicz, who was killed aged 45 during rescue operations at the World Trade Center.
At the Pentagon in Washington, where the attackers plunged a third aircraft into the headquarters of the US military, a sailor rang a ship's bell for each of the 184 killed there.
And in western Pennsylvania, where a fourth hijacked plane apparently heading toward Washington was forced to crash, bells were rung for each of the 40 passengers and crew that died.
Family members of victims of the 9/11 attack at the National September 11 Memorial in New York to mark the attack's 22nd anniversary © KENA BETANCUR / AFP
"September 11 made America a nation at war, and hundreds of thousands stepped up to serve our country in uniform," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Pentagon ceremony.
"I know that it aches to remember this milestone year after year . . . . The men and women of the Department of Defense will always remember."
Across New York City, in Congress and elsewhere, a moment of silence was held to mark the attack, plotted by Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was found and killed nearly a decade later by US Navy Seals in a raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
President Joe Biden, who was traveling back from a visit to Vietnam, was to mark the anniversary later Monday from a US military base in Anchorage, Alaska.
© 2023 AFP