New York is currently marking the second anniversary of the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
A reading of the names of the 2,792 people killed in the Twin Towers took place during the official four-hour ceremony, which has drawn thousands of victims’ relatives to the lower Manhattan site.
The names were read by children related to the victims and relatives descended down a ramp to the bottom of the World Trade Center site to lay wreaths.
Silence and the tolling of bells took place at 0846 local time (1346 BST) and 0903 EST (1403 BST), the times at which hijackers crashed two passenger planes into the two buildings.
Minutes of silence were also observed at 1459 BST and 1529 BST when each tower collapsed.
At Ground Zero, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke of the city’s sense of mourning, mixed with pride and the resolve to move forward.
Across the city New Yorkers mourned the dead and a crowd gathered to watch the commemorations on giant television screens in Times Square.
US President George W Bush and top aides began the day of commemoration with a church service of remembrance and prayers on the White House lawn in Washington
“We remember lives lost. We remember the heroic deeds. We remember the compassion, the decency of our fellow citizens on that terrible day,” President Bush said after attending the service at St John’s Church near the White House.
A poll in New York this week showed that two-thirds of residents were feared another attack on the city.
A tape released ahead of today’s anniversary showed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden praising the September 11 strikes and threatening that al Qaeda would strike again.
The State Department has urged US citizens overseas to take special caution amid growing indications that the terror group is planning even bigger attacks.
New York’s economy still remains in recession as a result of the attacks.
Remembrance ceremonies were also held today at the Pentagon in Washington DC, where 189 people died when a hijacked plane hit and at a field in Shanksville in Pennsylvania, where the fourth hijacked jet crashed following an uprising by the 40 passengers and crew.