A woman arrives with a sign bearing photo memories for Wilder Gomez at the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in New York. Gomez, from Colombia, was a bartender at Windows on the World on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center when it was attacked. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

US marks 9-11

America marks 9-11 with sombre tributes, new monument to victims

Americans are commemorating 9-11 with sombre tributes, volunteer projects and a new monument to victims, after a year when two attacks demonstrated the enduring threat of terrorism in the nation’s biggest city.

Debra Sinodinos was among the thousands of 9-11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others expected at Tuesday’s anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center. She headed into the memorial plaza with her extended family to honour her cousin Peter Carroll, a firefighter.

“It’s a nice way to remember without everyone sitting around being depressed,” she said.

President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence will head to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

The president and first lady Melania Trump planned to join an observance at the Sept. 11 memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a new “Tower of Voices” was dedicated Saturday. Pence is attending a ceremony at the Pentagon. Trump, a Republican and native New Yorker, took the occasion of last year’s anniversary to issue a stern warning to extremists that “America cannot be intimidated.”

RELATED: Museum exhibit highlights impact of sports after 9-11

Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on 9-11, when international terrorism hit home in a way it previously hadn’t for many Americans. Sept. 11 still shapes American policy, politics and everyday experiences in places from airports to office buildings, even if it’s less of a constant presence in the public consciousness after 17 years.

A stark reminder came not long after last year’s anniversary: A truck mowed down people, killing eight, on a bike path within a few blocks of the World Trade Center on Halloween.

In December, a would-be suicide bomber set off a pipe bomb in a subway passageway near Times Square, authorities said. They said suspects in both attacks were inspired by the Islamic State extremist group.

Sinodinos, who works near the trade centre, said she tries not to let the recent attacks unnerve her.

“You have to move on,” she said. “Otherwise, you’d live in fear.”

The 9-11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, centred on reading the names of the dead. But each year at ground zero, victims’ relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, concern and inspiration.

Hours after the ceremony, two powerful light beams will soar into the night sky from lower Manhattan in the annual “Tribute in Light.”

This year’s anniversary comes as a heated midterm election cycle kicks into high gear. But there have long been some efforts to separate the solemn anniversary from politics.

The group 9-11 Day, which promotes volunteering on an anniversary that was declared a national day of service in 2009, routinely asks candidates not to campaign or run political ads for the day. Organizers of the ground zero ceremony allow politicians to attend, but they’ve been barred since 2011 from reading names or delivering remarks.

Memorials to 9-11 continue to grow at Shanksville, where the Tower of Voices will eventually include a wind chime for each of the 40 people killed there, and ground zero, where work is to begin soon on a pathway honouring rescue and recovery workers.

It will serve as a way to honour those who became sick or died from exposure to toxins released when the Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed. Researchers have documented elevated rates of respiratory ailments, post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses among people who spent time in the rubble.

About 38,500 people have applied to a compensation fund, and over $3.9 billion in claims have been approved.

Meanwhile, rebuilding continues. A subway station destroyed on 9-11 finally reopened Saturday. In June, doors opened at the 80-story 3 World Trade Center, one of several rebuilt office towers that have been constructed or planned at the site. A performing arts centre is rising.

However, work was suspended in December on replacing a Greek Orthodox church crushed in the attacks; the project hit financial problems.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sisters, sexual abuse and one Surrey family’s bond in new movie ‘Because We Are Girls’

Cloverdale’s Jeeti Pooni led effort to create the documentary, set to debut at festivals

Drowning victim fondly remembered

Immigration consultant Jay Atienza Razon, who worked out of Newton, drowned in a kayaking accident March 29

Khan Michael Bourne, of Sechelt, shot dead in Surrey

Police say Bourne was found laying on the ground, with gunshot wounds

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Earth Day-inspired exhibit focuses on reclaimed fabrics

Semiahmoo Shopping Centre hosts Our Social Fabric display

VIDEO: Humpback whale spotted near White Rock Pier

Photos and video show animal diving in Semiahmoo Bay

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Most Read