Until a few months ago the site of the tragic September 11 attacks on the former World Trade centre’s twin towers were mostly fenced off to the public.
This year, for the first time since the attacks, family and friends of the nearly 3,000 victims will be able to visit the site and remember their loved ones.
Rebuilding efforts at the site, where two hijacked airliners crashed into the towers on September 11, 2001, are nearing completion.
The area, once a smouldering grave and then an off-limits construction site for more than a decade, is now increasingly reconnected with surrounding streets in the city that never sleeps.
Today’s commemoration ceremony is the first to take place since the opening of the 9/11 museum in New York as well as the adjoining repository for unidentified human remains – an important milestone for the families of the victims.
“For the first time this year, because the museum opened in May, family members will be able to visit the museum as part of the commemoration,” a museum spokesman, said.
Politicians and dignitaries as well as the families and friends of those who died in the attacks will gather today to observe a few moments of silence and hear recitations of the victims names.
Similar commemorative events will be held in Washington and Pennsylvania, where two other hijacked planes crashed.