Vice president observes 9/11 anniversary at site of Flight 93 memorial

'We cannot forget': US marks 18 years since 9/11 attacks with somber ceremonies

The ceremony in NYC paused six times: twice for when the planes hit the Twin Towers, twice for when each tower fell, once for the attack on the Pentagon, and once more for Flight 93. "And I want people to remember", said Miller, of Baldwin, on Long Island.

A new state law passed in NY this year mandates that public schools allow a moment of silence to mark the anniversary.

"There's smiles in between the tears that say we didn't do this journey on our own, that we were here for each other", she said. That we were here for each other. "The last time hearing those precious words, 'I love you, '" the president said.

Relatives of some of the dead will visit Ground Zero on Wednesday where every victim's name will be read out, and tolling bells will mark the moments when two hijacked planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center.

President Donald Trump is expected to join the memorial at the Pentagon, while Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at a ceremony in memory of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Like Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump marked the day with the war still raging.

Like the families, the nation is still grappling with the aftermath of September 11. Those talks came to an abrupt halt last weekend when Trump tweeted that he had cancelled a proposed meeting with the Taliban and members of the Afghan government at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. As the September 11 anniversary began in Afghanistan, a rocket exploded at the U.S. Embassy just after midnight, with no injuries reported.

Anniversary ceremonies will also be held across the country commemorating the almost 3,000 people who died when hijacked planes rammed into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon while a fourth crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

All those who lost their lives in the attacks will have their names read starting around 8:40 a.m. local time during a ceremony at the museum that is only open to victims' families but will be streamed online.

Joseph Henry says he was named after his uncle who was a firefighter, Joseph Patrick Henry.

"Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done", Haros, who lost his mother, Frances, said as he reminded the audience of the al-Qaeda attackers.

Others made a point of spotlighting the suffering of firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after exposure to the smoke and dust at ground zero.

While research continues into whether those illnesses are tied to 9-11 toxins, a victims compensation fund for people with potentially September 11-related health problems has awarded more than $5.5-billion so far.

Almost 3,000 people were killed that day and thousands more were injured.

After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won't run dry.

The sick gained new recognition this year at the memorial plaza at ground zero, where the new 9/11 Memorial Glade was dedicated this spring.

September 11 has become known also as a day of service. People around the country volunteer at food banks, schools, home-building projects, park cleanups and other community events around the anniversary.

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