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'On that Day, a Nation became a Family'

In a series of memorial events and programs Americans are marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 9/11/2013, 11:08 AM

Ruins of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
Ruins of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
Flash 90

Twelve years after the al Qaeda 9/11 attacks on the United States which killed almost 3,000 people, Americans will mark this year's anniversary with a series of events across the country.

In New York, a citywide moments of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m. (1246 GMT) and 17 minutes later, at 9.03 a.m., the two moments when jets struck the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. Further moments of silence are also scheduled marking the other attacks that took place twelve years ago today along with the moments both towers collapsed.

Later the names of all 2,983 people killed in the gruesome attacks will be read out in the presence of outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, are set to lay wreaths at a Pentagon ceremony, along with the bereaved of those killed when one of the jets highjacked crashed into the Pentagon, killing 125 government workers, as well as all 59 passengers on board. Across the U.S., fire fighters will also be at the center of memorial events with fire crews, set to toll bells of remembrance, pay visits to schools and join public events.  

412 emergency workers, among them 341 firefighters, lost their lives helping civilians in the attacks.

A museum based at the site of the World Trade Center, detailing the events of September 11th, 2001, was scheduled to be officially opened to mark today's commemoration. However, officials said Hurricane Sandy had pushed the timetable for the opening back to next spring.

Meanwhile, a social media campaign carrying the theme “Take a day to remember the day that changed us forever,” is also set to be launched, seeking to unite Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks drawing on stories and images of unity and courage, to increase pride.

The campaign features actor Robert De Niro narrating two video clips that are to be shown on screens in Times Square, among other places, telling Americans: “On that day, a nation became a family. With nearly 3,000 loved ones lost. On that day, after witnessing the worst, we embodied the best. On that day, we came together. We were all New Yorkers.”

In Israel, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem has urged American citizens in Israel to exercise caution:

"As the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security," a security message published on Tuesday said.

The consulate said it has limited official travel by government employees in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, excluding Bethlehem and Jericho.