Vol. 5 Num 816 Tue. September 12, 2006  

Moment of silence marks Sept 11 attacks

The USA began a solemn observance of the fifth anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks yesterday, with sorrowful family members clutching photos of the victims at the World Trade Centre site and quiet remembrances planned around the country.

A moment of silence was observed at ground zero at 8:46 a.m., commemorating the moment American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the trade centre's north tower.

On the 16-acre New York City expanse where the World Trade Centre once stood, three more moments of silence are planned for 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29 a.m., the times when the second jetliner struck one of the twin towers, and when each tower fell.

Family members began arriving before 7 a.m. at the trade centre site, some clutching bouquets of roses and framed photos of their loved ones. Others wore pins bearing pictures of the victims.

"I think it's important that people remember as years go on," said Diana Kellie, of Acaconda, Mont., whose niece and niece's fiance were killed on one of the planes. "The dead are really not dead until they're forgotten."

Firefighter Tommy King and others stood beside a fire truck with a windshield emblazoned with the names of two comrades who died on Sept. 11.

"It's just weird being back here," King said outside the World Financial Centre, where he hasn't been for five years. "This building here was a morgue."

Spouses and partners of the 2,749 people who died at the trade centre were to read the names of the victims as families of the victims descend to roam the site and lay flowers.

President Bush visited ground zero Sunday and on Monday was to visit the two other attack sites: Shanksville, Pa., where 40 people were killed when a jet crashed into the ground, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., where 184 died.

Bush also planned a prime-time address from the Oval Office.

There were also moments of silence set for 8:46 a.m. in the American and United terminals of Logan International Airport in Boston. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 took off from Logan before slamming into the towers.

The sun rises over ground zero as families gather at the World Trade Centre site yesterday in New York to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Clinging to floral tributes and photos of their loved ones, tearful families and friends of those killed in the September 11 attacks five years ago gathered for commemorations at the World Trade Centre Monday. PHOTO: AFP