Once more, families gathered at ground zero, where nearly 3,000 people died on that bright September morning. Once more, there was an outpouring of grief. Once more, there was the sound of a bell tolling in mourning. And there was the rhythm of names being recited.

Eighteen years have passed since terrorists commandeered airplanes and the twin towers of the World Trade Center were brought down.

The commemoration at ground zero — by now an annual rite of remembrance that follows a familiar, somber script — began with an honor guard carrying the flag.

At 8:46 a.m. on Wednesday, the time when the first plane slammed into the north tower, there was a moment of silence, the first of six marking the strikes at the trade center and the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pa., as well as the collapse of the twin towers in a blizzard of toxic dust and flaming debris. Bagpipers played “America the Beautiful.”

via nytimes