On Monday morning, the normally noisy streets of lower Manhattan will be momentarily silent as part of the annual ceremony at Ground Zero marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Sixteen years after the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack, the relatives of those lost at the World Trade Center will gather once more at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to honor the nearly 3,000 people who were killed that day.
The solemn ceremony will uphold all of the rituals of years past, according to a schedule released Friday by the event’s organizers.
The ceremony will kick off with a citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. — the moment hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower. Church bells will also toll throughout the city.
Five other moments of silence will be observed during the ceremony — 9:03 a.m. to mark when hijackers flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower; 9:37 a.m., the moment American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon; 9:59 a.m., when the south tower came crashing down; 10:03 a.m., the time United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania; and 10:28 a.m. to mark the fall of the north tower.
In between, relatives will read aloud the names of those killed at the Twin Towers, and also the names of those who died in the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center.
The “Tribute in Lights” will also be on display starting at sunset on Monday and “will fade away at dawn” on Tuesday, according to Sept. 11 memorial staff. Two blue pillars of light flashed from a lower Manhattan rooftop will provide a visual reminder of how the Twin Towers once stood guard over the city skyline.
The annual 9/11 ceremonies provide a period of reflection, for a city still rebuilding from the aftermath of the attacks.
Former Gov. George Pataki, in a radio interview Sunday, recalled the “feelings of absolute horror” he felt upon arriving at the site, but also the “tremendous pride” in seeing first responders and New Yorkers of all stripes rushing to offer aid.
“The air was full of shredded paper … so thick you could taste it as you tried to breathe,” Pataki said in an interview on “The Cats Roundtable” on 970 AM. “It was just this portrait of horror. And yet, among that … you would see on the rubble, where the flames and smoke were, firefighters working to try to put out the fires. You saw construction workers trying to cut through the twisted steel to see if they could find people alive.”