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Americans plan solemn ceremonies for 9/11 anniversary

Published: Updated:

The 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks will be commemorated by Americans on Wednesday with ceremonies and pledges to not forget the nearly 3,000 killed in 2001.

New York City will repeat the ritual of reading of the names of the 2,983 people who died when hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field.

This anniversary however may not be as widely commemorated as it was two years ago, when the 10th anniversary was also the first following the death of Osama bin Laden from a May 2011 raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan.

The attacks, in which the nineteen hijackers also died, were later claimed by bin Laden and al Qaeda, leading directly to the U.S. war in Afghanistan and indirectly to the invasion of Iraq.

Infographic: 9/11 timeline
Infographic: 9/11 timeline

A citywide moment of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m. (1246 GMT) in observance of the time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, followed by another at 9:03 a.m. (1303 GMT) when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower, according to Reuters news agency.

Further moments of silence will be observed at 9:37 a.m. (1337 GMT), when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon; at 9:59 a.m. (1359 GMT) when the South Tower fell; at 10:03 a.m. (1403 GMT) when United Flight 93 hit the ground near Shanksville; and at 10:28 a.m. (1428 GMT) when the North Tower collapsed.

The ceremony will be held at the National September 11 Memorial plaza, where two reflecting pools mark the footprints of the original Twin Towers, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a Pentagon ceremony with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey.

Hagel and Dempsey will attend a second ceremony later in the Pentagon's center courtyard.

(With Reuters)