American flag is unfurled at the Pentagon as 9/11 remembrance ceremonies get under way across the nation for deadliest terror attack ever on US soil
- Officials were seen unfurling a US flag on the west side of the Pentagon Monday
- Monday marks 22 years since the terror attacks took thousands of innocent lives
- Commemorations are set to commence across the US, including the attack sites
The first of several moments of silence at New York’s annual September 11 ceremony was rife with emotion Monday – as Americans marks 22 years since the attacks took thousands of lives in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Arlington, Virginia.
Shortly before, in a taste of the ceremonies set to take place across the country, officials in Virginia unfurled US flag on the west side of the Pentagon – the same site where one of the hijacked planes struck.
The attacks happened quickly – claiming nearly 3,000 lives and counting as illnesses to this day continue to affect first responders. The North Tower was hit at 8:46 am, then 17 minutes later the South. A third hijacked plane ripped a hole into the western side of the Pentagon at 9:37 am – leaving another 184 lives lost.
A flag has been unfurled at the site each year since – celebrating the bravery that was on display from first responders as well as countless Good Samaritans who jumped into action that day.
Other commemorations set to commence stretch from the other attack sites, and to Alaska and beyond. Joe Biden is due at a ceremony on a military base in Anchorage, and Kamala Harris was seen at the ceremony at Ground Zero, as was Ron DeSantis.
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Officials were seen unfurling a US flag on the west side of the Pentagon early Monday morning – a hint of some of the ceremonies set to take place observing the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks
Other commemorations set to take place Monday morning include ones at the other attack sites, in New York (seen here) and Pennsylvania. Others will be held as far as Alaska, where the president is slated to attend a ceremony in Anchorage
It is there that six moments of silence will be observed, commemorating when each of the towers was struck and collapsed, as well as the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93.
The first was held after the tolling of the bells at 8:46am, which marks the beginning of the attacks – when hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower. The impact killed all 92 on board.
At 9:03am, a second moment of silence will be held – marking when hijackers deliberately crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower – leaving no doubt in any New Yorkers’ mind at the time that the attacks were planned and malicious in nature.
The next will be held at 9:37 am, when another group of terrorists deliberately crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, just outside the nation’s capital.
A fourth moment of silence will then be held at 9:59am to mark the moment the South Tower, the second train to be hit, collapsed, with another slated for four minutes later – to mark the moment passengers on United 93 heroically stormed the cockpit in a bid to retake the plane from their attackers.
In response, the hijackers crashed the plane into an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania – likely saving many lives, as many theorized the plane’s target was either the White House or the Capitol.
The final moment of silent mourning is slated 10:28 am – the time that The North Tower collapsed, leaving the 16-acre World Trade Center site in ruins and the collective US consciousness in tatters.
However, across the country, the rescue effort commenced immediately – a taste of the resilience present in the heart of countless Americans in the centuries before, and after, the senseless tragedy.
The president’s visit, en route to Washington, D.C., from a politically driven trip to India and Vietnam, is a reminder that the impact of 9/11 was felt in every corner of the nation, however remote it may be.
On that day, ‘we were one country, one nation, one people, just like it should be. That was the feeling – that everyone came together and did what we could, where we were at, to try to help,’ said Eddie Ferguson, the fire-rescue chief in Virginia’s Goochland County.
More than 100 miles from the Pentagon and more than three times as far from New York, the site – like dozens of others across the US – share a sense of connection is enshrined in a local memorial incorporating steel from the World Trade Center´s destroyed twin towers.
The predominantly rural county of 25,000 people holds not just one but two anniversary commemorations: a morning service focused on first responders and an evening ceremony honoring all the victims.
Other communities across the country pay tribute with moments of silence, tolling bells, candlelight vigils and other activities.
In Columbus, Indiana, 911 dispatchers broadcast a remembrance message to police, fire and EMS radios throughout the 50,000-person city, which also holds a public memorial ceremony.
Kamala Harris – seen here arriving at La Guardia Airport Monday morning – is attending the annual ceremony at Ground Zero, one of several ceremonies set to commence across the country in honor of the lives lost during the attacks
Flordia Gov Ron DeSantis and his wife Casey DeSantis also attended the ceremony, the 21st held in the wake of the senseless attacks that forever changed the country
The World Trade Center was an idea for decades that finally became a design of two 110-story towers in the 1960s. Built for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the 16-acre ‘superblock’ with its own zip code would have seven buildings
The west side of the DoD building was targeted during the attacks. A flag has been unfurled at the site each year since – celebrating the bravery that was on display from first responders as well as countless Good Samaritans who jumped into action that day
Sara Nelson,a United Flight Attendant based in Boston who lost 9 friends on flight 175, is seen mourning at the memorial at Ground Zero Monday morning
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts raise and lower the flag at a commemoration in Fenton, Missouri, where a ‘Heroes Memorial’ includes a piece of World Trade Center steel and a plaque honoring 9/11 victim Jessica Leigh Sachs. Some of her relatives live in the St. Louis suburb of 4,000 residents.
‘We´re just a little bitty community,’ said Mayor Joe Maurath, but ‘it´s important for us to continue to remember these events. Not just 9/11, but all of the events that make us free.’
New Jersey’s Monmouth County, which was home to some 9/11 victims, made Sept. 11 a holiday this year for county employees so they could attend commemorations.
As another way of marking the anniversary, many Americans do volunteer work on what Congress has designated both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
At ground zero, Vice President Kamala Harris is due to join the ceremony on the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum plaza. The event will not feature remarks from political figures, instead giving the podium to victims´ relatives for an hourslong reading of the names of the dead.
James Giaccone signed up to read again this year in memory of his brother, Joseph Giaccone, 43. The family attends the ceremony every year to hear Joseph’s name.
‘If their name is spoken out loud, they don´t disappear,’ James Giaccone said in a recent interview.
The commemoration is crucial to him.
‘I hope I never see the day when they minimize this,’ he said. ‘It’s a day that changed history.’
Biden, a Democrat, will be the first president to commemorate Sept. 11 in Alaska, or anywhere in the western U.S. He and his predecessors have gone to one or another of the attack sites in most years, though Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama each marked the anniversary on the White House lawn at times. Obama followed one of those observances by recognizing the military with a visit to Fort Meade in Maryland.
First lady Jill Biden is due to lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.
In Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked jets crashed after passengers tried to storm the cockpit, a remembrance and wreath-laying is scheduled at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown operated by the National Park Service. Harris´ husband, Doug Emhoff, is expected to attend the ceremony.
The memorial site will offer a new educational video, virtual tour and other materials for teachers to use in classrooms. Educators with a total of more than 10,000 students have registered for access to the free ‘National Day of Learning’ program, which will be available through the fall, organizers say.
‘We need to get the word out to the next generation,’ said memorial spokesperson Katherine Hostetler, a National Park Service ranger.
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