2015 marks the 14th anniversary of 9/11

11/09/2015 15:00
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DUSHANBE, September 11, 2015, Asia-Plus – A number of memorials and events are being held today to commemorate 9/11 anniversary.

In New York, ongoing focus reportedly remains on the new One World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, completed in 2013.

The single skyscraper replaces the iconic Twin Towers, destroyed on September 11, 2001 marking the first ever attack on US soil.

Meanwhile, in cities and neighborhood across the US, solemn ceremonies and events are planned every year to mark the day, considered one of the darkest in America's history on a par with the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As always, the anniversary of 9/11 in New York City will be marked at Ground Zero with four moments of silence -- to observe the times when each plane hit and each tower fell, beginning at 8:46 am.  Family members of all 9/11 victims are always invited to attend.

The National 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in a ceremony for victims' families.  The following day, it opened to the public on September 12, 2011 and remains open for visitors with advance passes.

The memorial features the country's largest man-made waterfalls dramatically cascading into two sunken pools. These pools mark the footprints of the Twin Towers. The names of 2,980 victims have been etched in granite around the edges of the memorial. The effect seeks to create closure for families belonging to the nearly 40 percent of victims whose bodies were completely obliterated by explosions during the attacks.

Opened in the spring of 2014, an admission price of $24 is required to visit The 9/11 Memorial Museum which houses artifacts from 9/11 events including personal items from survivors as well as the deceased donated by their families.  In addition, there is an extensive audio collection of personal histories from emergency service workers, survivor's families, as well as ordinary New Yorkers who witnessed the events of the day.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that in the 14 years since the 9/11 attacks, the face of terrorism has changed out of recognition.  To many experts, the threat of Islamist terror is in some ways greater and in some ways diminished. It is geographically more diverse and organizationally more divided, and leverages social media and the internet in a way impossible in 2001.

In the West, Islamist terrorism is reportedly often more inspired than organized and directed. Its menace is also more fluid and unpredictable than it was on that bright autumn morning in 2001, but the tools to combat it are also more plentiful, from ever more sophisticated and accurate drones to financial intelligence and algorithms for chewing terabytes of data in the pursuit of suspicious communications.

The likelihood of an attack on the scale of 9/11 has receded, but the probability of more frequent though less devastating attacks has increased, according to CNN.

During the September 11 attacks, 2,996 people were killed: 2,977 victims and 19 of the perpetrators.  These immediate deaths included 246 victims on the four planes, 2,606 victims inside the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 victims at the Pentagon.

All of those killed were civilians except 71 law enforcement officers and 343 firefighters who died in the World Trade Center and on the ground in New York City, one law enforcement officer who died when United Airlines 93 crashed into the field in Shankswille, Pennsylvania, and 55 military personnel who died at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia.  Overall, 2,605 U.S. citizens, including 2,135 civilians, died in the attacks but an additional 372 non-U.S. citizens (excluding the 19 perpetrators) also perished, which represented about 12% of the total.  More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks, including the United Kingdom (including the British overseas territory of Bermuda) (67 deaths), the Dominican Republic (47 deaths), and India (41 deaths).



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