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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
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  • 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)

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Enakshi

    RIP those soles 🙁

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10 Things You Should know About Neerja Bhanot

She laid her life for the sake of other, when honoured called

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According to Neerja Bhanot's mother, Neerja was more beautiful than Sonam Kapoor. Wikimedia commons
According to Neerja Bhanot's mother, Neerja was even more beautiful than Sonam Kapoor. Wikimedia commons

A women who sacrificed her life, at the age of 24, so that she could protect her passengers. Her plane Pam Am Flight 73 was hijacked on the way to USA, she saved each and every life on that flight, except hers.

Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Neerja’ is based on the same set of events. Kapoor won her first National award for the film.

Read more: 5 Unknown and Amusing Facts About Wine

Here 10 must know facts about Neerja Bhanot:

1. She was born on 7th September, 1962 in Chandigarh to Harish and Rama Bhanot.

Her father was a journalist in his days. Her parents had prayed for long to get a daughter. When she was born, her father had thanked the nurse twice. She repeated, ‘It is a girl.’

2. She studied in Bombay Scottish School, and graduated from St Xavier’s college, Mumbai.

A ‘no problem’ child, who entertained ‘no nonsense’. Neerja’s family name was ‘Lado’.

3. She was a loyal friend.

Even if she had a disagreement with any of her friends, she would always be the first to sort it out. She always used to speak her mind, telling the truth.

4. Neerja Bhanot was a known face in ad campaigns.

She was around 18 years old when a photographer approached her for a modelling assignment. When the ad was printed, what followed was a mirage of jobs. Neerja had features in ads for Binaca, Vaporex and Krack Jack biscuits.

Her flight was hijacked on its way to United States of America. Pexels
Her flight was hijacked on its way to United States of America. Pexels

5. She was married to a man based in Sharjah in March 1985.

This was when her modelling career was taking off. But Neerja agreed to the marriage without any argument. However within two months of the marriage, she was subjected to mental and physical abuse.

Also read: 15 amazing facts about Amul Butter Ads

6. Neerja’s marriage came to an end when she came back to Mumbai for a modelling assignment.

Her husband sent her an ugly letter listing terms of her return. It was ‘accept the humiliating terms without a whimper at your own cost’ offer. The other option was separation. Bhanot chose the later.

7. She was picked in the top 80, out of 10,000 applicants for a job of flight attendant with Pam Am.

After her abusive marriage ended, Neerja wanted to prove herself. She used to say if something happened to her one day, even her ex-husband’s shadow should not fall on her dead body. Her wish was honoured.

8. She left home for the last time on 5th September 1986.

25 hours before turning 24, she left to attend her cabin-crew duty. Neerja Bhanot was known to be absolutely calm and efficient through the hijack episode. She alerted the captain, and it was her smartness that ensured the plane couldn’t take off.

She could have escaped first when she opened the emergency exit. Pexels
She could have escaped first when she opened the emergency exit. Pexels

9. She saved others, over herself.

Neerja could have saved herself when she opened the emergency exit, but that didn’t go well with her. She decided to be the last person to quit, be it alive or dead.

10. It was on 6th of September that her funeral took place, just a day before her birthday.

The women who died so other could live. She cremated with the chanting of ‘Goodbye darling, please keep coming’, her favourite mantra.