From New York City to Shanksville, Pa., from the White House to baseball stadiums around the nation, America will pause once again Friday to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The largest ceremony will take place at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum near the site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, which were brought down when two hijacked passenger jets slammed into them that day. Families of the victims will gather at the memorial’s plaza for what has become a tradition of tolling bells, observing moments of silence, and reading the names of those who died.
The plaza is reserved for victims’ relatives and invited guests for the morning ceremony, but will be open for the public to pay their respects in the afternoon. An estimated 20,000 people flocked to the site last year, the first year the public was able to visit on the anniversary.
“When we did open it up, it was just like life coming in,” National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels told the Associated Press this week, adding “the general public that wants to come and pay their respects on this most sacred ground should be let in as soon as possible.”