Yesterday marked the 15-year anniversary of what became known as the worst terrorist atrocity to ever hit the Western World, and 15 years on, the world remembers.
On that Tuesday morning in 2001, 2,996 people lost their lives with over 6,000 others being injured when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade centre in New York.
It became the deadliest event for firefighters and law enforcement officers in United States history, with 343 and 72 being killed respectively.
Yesterday in New York, the names of those whose lives were lost were recited in memorandum, along with the tolling of church bells and a tribute in lights at the site of the attack.
Family members of the deceased as well as first responders read aloud the names of the deceased at the memorial service, which was attended by Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, whilst US President Barack Obama delivered a speech and took part in a wreathe laying ceremony at the Pentagon.
Speaking of the immense loss of life that occurred, President Obama said, “Fifteen years may seem like a long time. But for the families who lost a piece of their heart that day, I imagine it can seem like just yesterday.”
There were exactly six moments of silence held throughout the ceremony in New York: four to mark the number of times the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Centre, The Pentagon and a small field in Pennsylvania.
The last two were to mark when the twin towers, North and South, came crashing down.
Keeping with a tradition that began in 2012, no New York city officials spoke at the ceremony, but naturally, rivals Clinton and Trump seized the opportunity to have their voices heard.
Clinton offered a brief and sombre statement saying, "We'll never forget the horror of September 11th, 2001. Let's honour the lives and tremendous spirit of the victims and responders."
Meanwhile Trump’s comments fell more in line with his political views and policies, as he stated, “Our solemn duty on behalf of all those who perished... is to work together as one nation to keep all of our people safe from an enemy that seeks nothing less than to destroy our way of life."
Clinton subsequently ended up leaving the New York ceremony after falling ill, with US publications claiming that she had ‘overheated’ and gone to her daughter’s apartment, and has since recovered from her episode.
Bright spotlights projected two large beams of light into the New York city sky to represent the fallen towers, which faded with the coming of dawn.
This 15th anniversary of the attacks also marks the US Governments return to the site, as they officially moved their New York city offices there this past Friday.
Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts