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Remembering September 11th attacks in New York City, 15 years later

Commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, hundreds gathered in lower Manhattan

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11 September 2001 Picture credits: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
  • September 11, 2001, was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters: 343 were killed 
  • Structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel
  • Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks

September 12, 2016: Hundreds gathered in lower Manhattan Sunday morning to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and to honor thousands of people who lost their lives. Al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington, while one crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

Paying tribute to the victims. Picture Credits: VOA

The ceremony began at 8:40 a.m. at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum with the national anthem and a reading of names of those killed in both the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center. Attended by the families of those killed in those attacks, elected officials, first responders and others, the event includes six moments of silence, timed to commemorate significant moments on Sept. 11, 2001.

President Barack Obama observed a moment of silence at the White House on Sunday. “We remember and we will never forget the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly,” Obama said. “We wonder how their lives might have unfolded, how their dreams might have taken shape.”

He vowed that terrorists “will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America,” praising the country’s diverse ethnic population comprised of people of all races and religions as “one of our greatest strengths.”

Graffiti by an artist. Picture Credits: Wikimedia common
Graffiti by an artist. Picture Credits: Wikimedia common

Obama, commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks for the last time as president before leaving office in January, said, “This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.”

“Fifteen years ago, a September day that began like any other became one of the darkest in our nation’s history,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly address.

The president said those killed were “from all walks of life, all races and religions, all colors and creeds, from across America and around the world.” It was the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941 at the start of World War II.

People read the names of the victims during a commemoration ceremony for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. The country’s leading 2016 presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, paid their respects at Ground Zero but halted their political campaigns for the day.

As daylight ended Sunday in New York, spotlights projected two giant beams of light into the sky to represent the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Nineteen hijackers, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia, were killed in the attacks, which led directly to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida trained attackers against the United States, and indirectly to the war in Iraq. The U.S. still has thousands of forces in Afghanistan and Iraq even as it has ended large-scale combat operations.

Writing on Twitter Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “On 9/11, we remember those we lost, those who tried to save them. We honor them by pursuing peace, security, justice worldwide.”Near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania Sunday, the Flight 93 National Memorial stands in memory of the passengers and crew members who carried out a sustained assault against the hijackers for control of the plane 15 years ago.

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A September 11 Museum has been erected on the New York site where the World Trade Center once stood, housing artifacts and photographs connected to the attack.

At the Pentagon, the 184 people who died on September 11, 2001 are honored with 184 benches over pools of water. A huge American flag was draped from the roof of the headquarters of the country’s Defense Department on the side of the building where the attack occurred.

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Before the ceremony began, hundreds gathered around the plaza, many holding posters and shirts dedicated to victims. As the Brooklyn Youth Chorus sang the national anthem, many in the crowd held up posters and framed pictures before loudly applauding. (VOA)

  • Enakshi

    RIP those soles 🙁

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New York State Allows Gatherings of up to 10 People

New York state loosens restrictions on gatherings

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Restrictions loosen on New York State of USA as a gathering of upto 10 people is permitted now. Pixabay

The US state of New York now allows gatherings of up to 10 people for non-essential purposes, two months after a statewide order banned such gatherings of any size to curb spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests the Latest news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order late on Friday to loosen the restrictions, stressing that people have to follow social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the state’s Department of Health, Xinhua reported.

Earlier this week, the governor permitted gatherings of such scale during the Memorial Day weekend for memorial ceremonies. Religious gatherings of the same scale have also been allowed since Thursday.

Cuomo said on Saturday that Long Island and Mid-Hudson could reopen next week, leaving New York City the only region in the state that will remain in the “PAUSE” order for a while.

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Restrictions are lifted two months after a statewide order banned such gatherings. Pixabay

New York City has not yet met two of the seven metrics the state-designed for reopening, which are the numbers of hospital beds and ICU beds available. But Cuomo said he expected the city to reopen in early June.

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On Friday, New York City unveiled three key metrics set by itself to track the progress toward reopening, which are daily new hospital admissions, the current number of ICU patients and the percentage of people testing positive, each with a single indicator threshold.

The daily death toll in New York State fell to 84, said Cuomo on Saturday, the first time that figure has dropped below 100 since the state went into a lockdown two months ago.

The overall statewide caseload rose to 359,926, with 1,772 new cases, said the governor. (IANS)

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Schools in New York City Log Out of Zoom, Upgrade To Microsoft Teams

The New York City Department of Education "continues to review and monitor developments with Zoom," said the spokesperson, adding that it will update schools with any changes

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Microsoft
The city's Department of Education is transitioning schools to Microsoft Teams, which is believed to have the "same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place," TechCrunch reported on Sunday. Pixabay

In yet another setback for popular video meeting app Zoom, New York City has banned its use for remote learning purposes in schools until further review and update due to security concerns.

The city’s Department of Education is transitioning schools to Microsoft Teams, which is believed to have the “same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place,” TechCrunch reported on Sunday.

“Providing a safe and secure remote learning experience for our students is essential, and upon further review of security concerns, schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible,” Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education, was quoted as saying.

“There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and students,” Filson said. After schools in the city closed on March 16, Zoom’s popularity as a tool enabling remote learning skyrocketed.

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But the platform also started facing criticism as reports of “Zoombombing” and other privacy issues started surfacing from different parts of the country. “Zoomraiding” or “Zoombombing” refers to a type of online harassment in which hate speech, pornography or other inappropriate content is suddenly flashed by disrupting a video call on Zoom.

Several schools in the US earlier reported that unidentified persons accessed classes conducted through Zoom. A Massachusetts-based high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using the teleconferencing software Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom.

Zoom
In yet another setback for popular video meeting app Zoom, New York City has banned its use for remote learning purposes in schools until further review and update due to security concerns. IANS

The popular video meeting app courted another controversy when security researchers from Citizen Lab at University of Toronto found that that some Zoom calls were routed through servers in China, along with conference encryption and decryption keys used to secure those calls.

Zooms Founder and CEO Eric Yuan has already apologized for the privacy and security issues being reported in his app that has seen a surge in usage globally as people work from home during lockdowns.

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The New York City Department of Education “continues to review and monitor developments with Zoom,” said the spokesperson, adding that it will update schools with any changes. (IANS)

 

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HAF calls on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to make Diwali a School Holiday

Diwali, is a five-day festival that begins on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November)

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Diwali
Diwali, is a five-day festival that begins on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November). It is the most important festival on the Hindu calendar, celebrating the triumph of good over evil and marking the New Year. Pixabay

Last week, the Hindu American Foundation submitted written testimony to the New York City Council in support of Resolution 146, which calls “upon the New York City Department of Education to establish Diwali as an official holiday for New York City public school students.”

There are approximately 100,000 students of the Dharmic faiths (Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist) currently studying in New York City public schools.

HAF Managing Director Sheetal Shah joined dozens of community leaders and activists on the steps of New York City Hall last week to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to work with the community and designate Diwali as an official public school holiday.

“It’s time for New York City to finally recognize Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, alongside other faiths, who aren’t forced to choose between attending school or celebrating their religious holiday,” Shah said. “It’s great to be a part of a broader, local coalition.”

Diwali, is a five-day festival that begins on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November). It is the most important festival on the Hindu calendar, celebrating the triumph of good over evil and marking the New Year.

Hindus celebrate Diwali as the victory of good over evil and of knowledge over ignorance. Sikhs celebrate Diwali as the Day of Liberation, when the sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind, was released from imprisonment along with 52 other kings. Jains commemorate Diwali as the day Lord Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras, attained Nirvana, or liberation.

Statue Of Liberty, New York, Ny, Nyc, New York City
Last week, the Hindu American Foundation submitted written testimony to the New York City Council in support of Resolution 146, which calls “upon the New York City Department of Education to establish Diwali as an official holiday for New York City public school students”. Pixabay

“We assembled on the steps of City Hall as one, larger South Asian Community to speak out in one voice,” stated Dr. Neeta Jain, Founder and President of International Ahimsa Foundation. “By doing so, New York City will give our children the same respect as their peers without fear of discrimination, without hurting their self respect,” she said.

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The Hindu American Foundation has launched an email campaign, available on HAF’s Advocacy Center, making it easy for New York City residents to write directly to Mayor Bill de Blasio urging him to call on the New York City Department of Education to establish Diwali as an official holiday.