Two more 9/11 victims identified before the 22nd anniversary

It has been 22 years since the September 11 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the two Twin Towers in the US.

The tragedy killed nearly 3,000 people, involving 19 terrorists hijacking four planes and crashing the first two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, aiming the next two flights towards Washington, D.C. in an attack on the nation’s capital.

A few days ago, the latest positive identification was made to return victims to their families. The last positive identification was in September 2021, and the one before that was in 2019.

New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr Jason Graham, has linked remains to 1,649 World Trade Centre victims thanks to cutting-edge DNA sequencing techniques to test body fragments recovered in the rubble.

He said: “Faced with the largest and most complex forensic investigation in the history of our country, we stand undaunted in our mission to use the latest advances in science to serve this promise.”

The same methods are also used to identify missing service members in the US military and to test the remains of more than 100 people who died during the wildfires in Maui last month.

Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, said he hopes the new identifications can bring “some measure of comfort” to the victims’ families.

Over 1,000 human remains from the attacks are yet to be identified and are being stored at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Centre site.

Today, Americans are commemorating the lives lost during the horrors of 9/11 by gathering at memorials, firehouses or city halls to observe the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terror attack in US history.

Commemorations stretch from the attack sites – New York’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – to Alaska and beyond. President Joe Biden will be attending a ceremony on a military base in Anchorage.

Biden will be the first president to commemorate September 11 in Alaska. Previously, he and his predecessors have gone to the attack sites or marked the anniversary on the White House lawn. First Lady Jill Biden is due to lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.

A local memorial in Virginia’s Goochland County is incorporating steel from the destroyed Twin Towers to commemorate the victims of the tragedy. The mostly rural county is holding a morning service focused on the first responders and an evening ceremony honouring all the victims.

Other communities pay tribute with moments of silence, tolling bells, candlelight vigils and other activities. In Columbus, Indiana, 911 dispatchers broadcast a remembrance message to police, fire and EMS radios throughout the city.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts raise and lower the flag at a commemoration in Fenton, Missouri, where a “Heroes Memorial” includes a piece of World Trade Centre steel and a plaque honouring the 9/11 victim Jessica Leigh Sachs.

Mayor Joe Maurath said: “We’re just a little bitty community… [but] it’s important for us to continue to remember these events.”

At the attack site, Vice President Kamala Harris is due to join the ceremony on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Plaza. Political figures will not be giving remarks, instead, they will be giving the podium to victims’ relatives for a reading of all the names of the dead.

In Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked jets crashed, a remembrance and wreath-laying are scheduled at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown operated by the National Park Service. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, is expected to attend the ceremony.

While people commemorate the victims of the US 9/11 tragedy, a new film on the little-known failed terrorist attack in Brazil on September 29, 1988, is due to come out in December this year.

The film tells the story of a jobless 28-year-old man who hijacked a plane and tried to crash it into Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace. The man planned to kill the country’s then-leader, Jose Sarney, enraged by the devastating economic crisis.


Kaja Traczyk

Kaja Traczyk is a reporter for the International Business Times UK and a Journalism Undergraduate with experience in news writing, reporting, and researching.

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