15th anniversary of 9/11: Obama says diversity is America’s ‘greatest strength’

11th September 2016 | AFP | AP

NEW YORK: America commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Sunday with emotional services of remembrance in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania to honor those who perished in the world’s deadliest terror strikes.

On September 11, 2001, four passenger jets crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania — killing nearly 3,000 people and changing the world forever.

This year’s anniversary comes with the United States locked in a bruising White House election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who both attended the New York service, although Clinton left early after feeling unwell.

US President Barack Obama urged Americans to embrace the nation’s diversity and not to allow “terrorists” to divide the country.

“So instead they try to terrorize, in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other,” said Obama, who observed a moment of silence Sunday at the Oval Office in honor of the nearly 3,000 people killed that day.

President Barack Obama listens as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks during a memorial ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. — AP
President Barack Obama listens as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks during a memorial ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. — AP
Family members sit on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, DC. — AFP
Family members sit on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, DC. — AFP
Family members sit on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC.  — AFP
Family members sit on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. — AFP
Family member splace flowers on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11  attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, DC. — AFP
Family member splace flowers on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, DC. — AFP
Family members sit on memorial benches before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC.  — AFP
Family members sit on memorial benches before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. — AFP
Members of the US Army Band arrive before the ceremony in observance to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC.  — AFP
Members of the US Army Band arrive before the ceremony in observance to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. — AFP
Family member places flowers on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. — AFP
Family member places flowers on a memorial bench before the observance ceremony to mark the15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. — AFP
A New York City firefighter looks over the south memorial pool during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, on September 11, 2016 in New York.  — AFP
A New York City firefighter looks over the south memorial pool during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, on September 11, 2016 in New York. — AFP
People look over the north memorial pool during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, on  September 11, 2016 in New York.  — AFP
People look over the north memorial pool during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, on September 11, 2016 in New York. — AFP
President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. — AP
President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. — AP
A man becomes emotional during a moment of silence during a ceremony for the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center at the National September 11 Memorial, in New York. — AP
A man becomes emotional during a moment of silence during a ceremony for the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center at the National September 11 Memorial, in New York. — AP
Family members embrace during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, in New York.  — AFP
Family members embrace during the 15th Anniversary of September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, in New York. — AFP
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