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President set to mark 17 years since Sept 11

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-12 07:45

WASHINGTON - Seventeen years after the devastating Sept 11 attacks, US President Donald Trump headed to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to pay tribute, as his predecessors have done, to the men and women who died aboard hijacked Flight 93.

Trump and his wife, Melania, were scheduled to participate in a somber remembrance in Shanksville. It's where hijackers crashed a California-bound commercial airliner on Sept 11, 2001, after the 40 passengers and crew members learned what was happening and attempted to regain control of the aircraft. Everyone on board was killed.

The first couple will visit the newly inaugurated Tower of Voices at the Flight 93 National Memorial - a nearly 30-meter-tall monument with 40 wind chimes to represent the 40 passengers and crew killed on the flight.

Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11 when commercial jetliners were flown into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an attack planned by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during a US military operation ordered by president Barack Obama.

Trump, a New York native making his first visit as president to the Shanksville site, was scheduled to focus on honoring the many lives that were lost that day.

Trump observed the solemn anniversary for the first time as president last year.

He and the first lady led a moment of silence at the White House accompanied by aides and administration officials at the exact time that hijackers flew the first of two airplanes into the World Trade Center's twin towers.

He also participated in the Pentagon's Sept 11 observance last year.

Trump was in his Trump Tower penthouse - 6.5 kilometers from the World Trade Center - during the 2001 attacks. He has a mixed history with Sept 11, often using the terrorist strikes to praise the response of New Yorkers to the attack but also making unsubstantiated claims about what he did and saw that day.

He has also accused George W. Bush, who was US president when the attacks happened in 2001, of failing to keep US citizens safe.

Ap - Afp - Xinhua

President set to mark 17 years since Sept 11

(China Daily 09/12/2018 page12)

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