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Obamas lead moment of silence to mark anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-09-11

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama led a moment of silence on the White House lawn Friday to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.

The moment of silence was observed at 8:46 a.m. (12:46 p.m. GMT), the moment when the first passenger plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York after being hijacked by members of al Qaeda.

The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, at the Pentagon and aboard a hijacked airliner that went down in Pennsylvania.

The US flag over the White House flew at half mast as a few hundred people – National Security Advisor Susan Rice as well as White House chefs, gardeners and other residence staff – joined the Obamas for the ceremony.

In New York, police and the relatives of those killed at the World Trade Center began the annual reading of all the names of the victims who died at Ground Zero, now the site of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

"Emotions and memories of 9/11 are with us so vividly today and always. We will #NeverForget our loved ones and first responders," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter.

US security is heightened every year around this time, but Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey said there were no "specific or credible threats" tied to this year's anniversary. US authorities continue to watch closely for new threats from either al Qaeda or the Islamic State group.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2015-09-11

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