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US marks 20 years since 9/11 with major ceremony at ground zero in New York

The United States solemnly marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 'terror attacks' on Saturday, remembering the dead, invoking the heroes and taking stock of the aftermath.

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US marks 20 years since 9/11 with major ceremony at ground zero in New York
US marks 20 years since 9/11 with major ceremony at ground zero in New York

The 20th anniversary is being marked just weeks after the bloody end of the Afghanistan war that was launched in response to the terror attacks.

The ceremony at ground zero in New York began exactly two decades after the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil started with the first of four hijacked planes crashing into one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

“It felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary,” said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a flight attendant on that plane.

“As we carry these 20 years forward, I find sustenance in a continuing appreciation for all of those who rose to be more than ordinary people,” the father told a crowd that included President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

The anniversary unfolded under the pall of a pandemic and in the shadow of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is now ruled by the same Taliban.

Bruce Springsteen and Broadway actors Kelli O’Hara and Chris Jackson sang at the commemoration, but by tradition, no politicians spoke there. In a video released Friday night, Biden addressed the continuing pain of loss but also spotlighted what he called the “central lesson” of Sept. 11: “that at our most vulnerable ... unity is our greatest strength.”

Biden was also scheduled to pay respects at the two other sites where the 9/11 conspirators crashed the jets: the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Together, the attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.

At the Pennsylvania site — where passengers and crew fought to regain control of a plane believed to have been targeted at the U.S. Capitol or the White House — former President George W. Bush said Sept. 11 showed that Americans can come together despite their differences.

“So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment,” said the president who was in office on 9/11. “On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab their neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America know.”

“It is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been and what we can be again.”

Former President Donald Trump planned to be in New York, in addition to providing commentary at a boxing match in Florida in the evening.

Other observances — from a wreath-laying in Portland, Maine, to a fire engine parade in Guam — were planned across a country now full of 9/11 plaques, statues and commemorative gardens.

In the aftermath of the attacks, security was redefined, with changes to airport checkpoints, police practices and the government’s surveillance powers. For years afterward, virtually any sizeable explosion, crash or act of violence seemed to raise a dire question: “Is it terrorism?” Some ideological violence and plots did follow, though federal officials and the public have lately become increasingly concerned with threats from domestic extremists after years of focusing on international terror groups in the wake of 9/11.

New York faced questions early on about whether it could ever recover from the blow to its financial hub and restore a feeling of safety among the crowds and skyscrapers. New Yorkers ultimately rebuilt a more populous and prosperous city but had to reckon with the tactics of an empowered post-9/11 police department and a widened gap between haves and have-nots.

A “war on terror” led to invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where the longest U.S. war ended last month with a hasty, massive airlift punctuated by a suicide bombing that killed 169 Afghans and 13 American service members and was attributed to a branch of the Islamic State extremist group. The U.S. is now concerned that al-Qaida, the terror network behind 9/11, may regroup in Afghanistan, where the Taliban flag once again flew over the presidential palace on Saturday.

At ground zero, some victims’ relatives thanked the troops who fought in Afghanistan.

Amid the hourslong reading of the victims’ names, relatives — at this point, many of them too young to have known their lost kin — spoke in English, Spanish and other languages of lives cut short, family milestones missed and a loss that still feels immediate. Several also pleaded for a return of the shared experience and common purpose that surged for a time after Sept. 11 but soon gave way.

SOURCE: AP 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 4 months.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity ratio rises again 

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,021 cases of coronavirus were reported while 21 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,173.

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Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity ratio rises again 

Islamabad: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio surged to 2.36% with 1,021 new cases. 

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,021 cases of coronavirus were reported while 21 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,173.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves.

The total number of cases has reached 1,260,669.

As many as 1,191,425 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,257 critical cases.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 436,720 in the province with 12,800 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 463,703 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,505.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 176,194 in the province with 5,657 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,092 confirmed cases while 350 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,360 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 740. On the other hand, there are 10,359 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 106,241 cases in the capital city while 935 people have lost their lives.   

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Entertainment

‘First in world’; BTS’ Jimin gets customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in US, Australia

On his 26th birthday, the artist became the first person in the world to receive a customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in the United States (US) and Australia.

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‘First in world’; BTS’ Jimin gets customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in US, Australia

Seoul: Renowned K-POP idol and member of boyband BTS, Park Jimin continues to set records as the first person in the world with different highly innovative and grand-scale birthday support projects. 

On his 26th birthday, the artist became the first person in the world to receive a customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in the United States (US) and Australia.

The exclusive birthday-themed banner will be up to 35 meters long for both the US and Australia routes, which is a giant size to ensure visibility. Both flights will have a specialized light aerobatic aircraft utilized for the birthday project.

In US, the banner will pass through famous sites including the Statue of Liberty and the George Washington Bridge—a strategy that will foster drawing attention to the project. 

The US flight will be for 3 hours, which is also a long period to ensure enough buzz for the project—ensuring a grand-scale promotion for Jimin in the most sophisticated way imaginable.

For the Australian route, the flight will be on Gold Coast, and the duration will be two hours.

The Australian route will include a highlighted tourist resort named after the 42 km of golden sandy beach—adding prestige to the project.

In addition to incredible birthday support projects, fans known as ARMY are also showing their love to the singer through various hashtags on Twitter.

To commemorate BTS Jimin's birthday today, Ukraine ARMYs have also prepared a "first-in-the-world" project that involves the ‘Serendipity’ singer being featured on the biggest LED screen in all of Europe.

Another birthday support project for BTS member Jimin that is also the first in the world is a digital ad in Kyoto, Japan. Jimin became the first foreign artist to be featured on that ad space in the country.

The advertisement will run for a week.

Moreover, ARMYs in France are celebrating BTS Jimin's birthday by lighting up the Eiffel Tower, which is a famous landmark in the city.

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Pakistan

Pakistan reports lowest daily COVID death toll in almost three months 

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 767 cases of coronavirus were reported while 19 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,106. 

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Pakistan reports lowest daily COVID death toll in almost three months 

Islamabad: Pakistan has reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in almost three months, with 19 people losing their lives to the virus in the last 24 hours. 

Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 1.88% with 767 new cases.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves.

The total number of cases has reached 1,257,955.

As many as 1,187,308 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,540 critical cases.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 435,882 in the province with 12,780 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 462,466 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,484. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 175,735 in the province with 5,636 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,072 confirmed cases while 350 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,339 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 739. On the other hand, there are 10,348 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 106,113 cases in the capital city while 931 people have lost their lives. 

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