Exactly 18 years ago, 19 Islamist terrorists crashed four hijacked jetliners into New York’s landmark World Trade Center, the Pentagon building in Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania. This year, on Tuesday, thousands will gather at the four sites to remember the 2,977 people they murdered, including 265 aboard the planes, in the worst terrorist outrage the world has ever seen. A commemoration ceremony takes place at the 9/11 Memorial plaza at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, for family members of the victims of the 2001 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks. Their names are to be read out at the site where the Twin Towers once stood. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are headed to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001: a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon. Mr. Trump said the field in Shanksville is now a “monument to American defiance.”
The US-led Afghanistan war was declared in the wake of the horrendous attacks. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who claimed responsibility, was hunted down and killed ten years later in a surprise US special forces raid on his Pakistan hideout.