FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2014 file photo, the moon appears between the beams from the Tribute in Light memorial honoring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as 1 World Trade Center, left, stands on the 13th anniversary as seen from Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
From New York City to Shanksville, Pa., from the White House to baseball stadiums around the nation, America will pause once again Friday to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The largest ceremony will take place at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum near the site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, which were brought down when two hijacked passenger jets slammed into them that day. Families of the victims will gather at the memorial’s plaza for what has become a tradition of tolling bells, observing moments of silence, and reading the names of those who died.
The plaza is reserved for victims’ relatives and invited guests for the morning ceremony, but will be open for the public to pay their respects in the afternoon. An estimated 20,000 people flocked to the site last year, the first year the public was able to visit on the anniversary.
“When we did open it up, it was just like life coming in,” National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels told the Associated Press this week, adding “the general public that wants to come and pay their respects on this most sacred ground should be let in as soon as possible.”
The Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania is marking the completion of its visitor center, which opened to the public Thursday. At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and other officials will join in remembrances for victims’ relatives and Pentagon employees.
President Obama is scheduled to observe a moment of silence with the first lady and White House staff on the mansion’s South Lawn before visiting Fort Meade in Maryland, in recognition of the military’s work to protect the country.
Ohio’s statehouse will display nearly 3,000 flags — representing the lives lost — in an arrangement designed to represent the World Trade Center towers, with a Pentagon-shaped space and an open strip representing the field near Shanksville. Sacramento, Calif., will commemorate 9/11 in conjunction with a parade honoring three Sacramento-area friends who tackled a heavily armed gunman on a Paris-bound high-speed train last month.
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