On this day 14 years ago, two planes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing thousands. A third hit the Pentagon in Virginia and a fourth thought to be aiming for the White House crashed in Pennsylvania.
In New York, silence was observed, after which families of victims of the 2001 attacks and earlier ones in 1993 read their names in an annual tradition broadcast on local TV station, according to the BBC.
The BBC reports that U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is to speak in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a fourth plane crashed.
Meanwhile in Washington, the American flag flew at half-staff over the White House, where President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama held a moment of silence on the South Lawn, according to the BBC.
Later the president will meet members of the armed forces at Fort Meade in Maryland Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at a 9/11 memorial event in New York.
Nineteen men were accused of hijacking the four planes on orders of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Mohammed Atef were the ones who plotted the attacks after meeting together in 1999.
It is also believed Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was the one who planned the attacks and that Atef was the one who organized the hijackers.
Bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military raid on his compound in Pakistan in 2011, after taking responsibility for the attacks in 2004 and years of eluding capture; Mohammed is detained in Guantanamo, Cuba, undergoing trial; and Mohammed Atef was killed in Afghanistan in 2001 during the liberation of that country.
The U.S. began wars in Afghanistan and later Iraq in retaliation for the attacks, ushering in a new era of the War on Terrorism which continues today.
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