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

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Most Read