Services were held held across the US and the world yesterday (Australian time) to commemorate 15 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, which killed almost 3000 people and changed air travel and airport security forever.
Six moments of silence were held in New York City, to mark the times four hijacked planes crashed and the two World Trade Center towers collapsed.
The attacks changed the air travel experience, as airlines installed bulletproof doors that sealed crew inside and airports introduced thorough security screening against sharp objects, liquids and gels, and various other dangers.
The age of innocence, when friendly flight crew would sometimes invite school-age children to the flight deck for an unforgettable view of how planes worked, came to an end. The age of running through an airport for a plane and catching it just before the door closed ended too.
Nearly 3000 people died when aircraft crashed into the towers, into the Pentagon in Washington DC and into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudi Arabian nationals and the US Congress unanimously passed a bill last week allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue the Saudi government.
More than 23 million tourists visited New York’s September 11 Memorial last year, and 4 million visited the memorial museum.
Meanwhile, in the 15 years since the 11 September 2001 attacks, public and private investment has transformed the Lower Manhattan area.
New office towers, a mass transportation hub and new retail complexes have sprung up, according to a new city report.
“As the rebuilding has progressed, the local economy has changed. The area has become much more residential as older office buildings have been converted to residential use and new towers are completed,” said the recently released Transformation of Lower Manhattan’s Economy” report.
“The streets are filled with young professionals and growing families.”
In another initiative, the official opening of a new 34km segment of the September 11th National Memorial Trail sees a network of bike trails now connect all three 9/11 memorials – in Somerset County, New York City and Arlington, Virginia.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance officially opened the new trail segment at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial Saturday morning.
“What we’re trying to do here is to have a 1300-mile (2092km) trail that, when people ride it and when people enjoy it, they’ll remember what this is all about – the heroes of 9/11,” David Brickley, president of the 9/11 Trail Alliance, said.
Written by Peter Needham