Thursday 18 January 2018

Our hearts still ache, tearful Obama tells relatives of 9/11

US President Barack Obama wipes his brow in the heat at an event on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon near Washington
US President Barack Obama wipes his brow in the heat at an event on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon near Washington
Carrie Bergonia reads the name of her fiance, Joseph Ogren, at the 9/11 Memorial

Raf Sanchez Washington

America has observed the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, marking 12 years since the fall of the Twin Towers and 12 months since the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

At Ground Zero in Manhattan, New Yorkers gathered to read out the names of the dead and lay flowers at the memorial where the city's tallest skyscrapers once stood, while workers across the city paused at 8.46am, the time the first of two hijacked planes struck the towers.

In Washington, a tearful President Barack Obama, inset, told families of the victims: "Our hearts ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been. The pride that you carry in your hearts, the love that will never die, your loved ones have an everlasting place in America's heart."

As well as the memorials to victims of the 2001 attack, the four Americans killed when the US's diplomatic post in eastern Libya was overrun by militants last year were also remembered. A car bomb exploded yesterday outside the same building, but no one was injured.

No one has been charged with the 2012 deaths of ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other US citizens, but the White House said it remained "committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice".

Mr Obama made a passing reference to "this day last year in Benghazi" as he laid a wreath at the Pentagon, where a hijacked plane killed 184 people in 2001.

He also paid tribute to the 6,700 US troops killed since the September 11 attacks, and to the diplomats and spies who "have stepped forward in those years of war".

Secretary of State John Kerry released an emotional statement at the State Department.

"Seeing American flags flying at half-staff brings back powerful and haunting memories of loved ones, friends and colleagues lost on two awful days that remind us how dangerous a world we live in," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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