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Ground Zero Ceremony Marks 18th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

The Wall Street Journal. logoThe Wall Street Journal. 6 days ago Katie Honan, Catherine Lucey
A New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighter pauses at the south reflecting pool during ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the 911 Memorial in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019. © Reuters A New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighter pauses at the south reflecting pool during ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the 911 Memorial in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019.

Thousands of people attended a ceremony at the Ground Zero memorial site in lower Manhattan to mark the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The ceremony began just before 9 a.m., with moments of silence and the ringing of bells to mark when planes hit the World Trade Center and when the twin towers fell. The attacks at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa. were also observed during the ceremony.

As with previous anniversaries at the 9/11 Memorial, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims killed in the attacks were read by family and friends.

a close up of a piece of paper © brendan mcdermid/Reuters

In Washington, President Trump and the first lady on Wednesday participated in a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Centre on 9/11.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to first lady Melania Trump during a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2019. © Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to first lady Melania Trump during a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2019.

Mr. Trump later headed to the Pentagon, where he recalled the day 18 years ago, describing the attack as “seared into our soul.” He praised first responders, offered support to families who lost loved ones and promised to respond to any future threats with military might.

Mr. Trump cited first responder Cyril “Rick” Rescorla in his remarks. The president said he would posthumously award the Presidential Citizens Medal to Mr. Rescorla, who as first vice president of security at Morgan Stanley on 9/11 helped thousands of fellow workers escape.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump observe a moment of silence to mark the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2019 © Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump observe a moment of silence to mark the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2019 For many of the loved ones of the victims, time hasn’t eased their pain.

La-Shawn Clark was one of the dozens of relatives who took part in reading the victims’ names on Wednesday at the ceremony in lower Manhattan.

Her husband of 15 years, Benjamin Keefe Clark, was a chef for Fiduciary Trust and died trying to get people out of one of the towers when it collapsed.

She was thinking of all the milestones he missed from their five children, especially their first grandchild, a girl, due Oct. 7.

Officers cary an American flag into ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the 911 Memorial in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019 © Reuters Officers cary an American flag into ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the 911 Memorial in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019

“This one is kind of hard,” she said, through tears.

Marjorie Miller comes to the 9/11 Memorial all the time, especially on the anniversary.

Her husband Joel worked at Marsh & McClennan, on the 94th floor of the first tower that was hit.

New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighters pause during a moment of silence at Engine co. 1 Hook and Ladder co. 24 on the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019. © Reuters New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighters pause during a moment of silence at Engine co. 1 Hook and Ladder co. 24 on the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 11, 2019.

“Every year I feel compelled to come,” she said before the ceremony began. As with many victims, she didn’t find her husbands remains.

“In many ways this is our cemetery. To me, this is his place and this is my place. He breathed here, he died here. This is where I feel him.”

Gallery: Remembering 9/11: How Americans have honored the victims for 18 years (USA TODAY)

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