(NBC News) With bagpipes and bells, prayers and patriotic songs, Americans paused Wednesday to remember the people killed in the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack.
In New York, people gathered at the 9/11 Memorial, observing moments of silence six times, marking the exact time that changed a nation forever.
The scene repeated in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and at The Pentagon.
18 years later the tragedy is still unfolding. Thousands of people exposed to toxic chemicals in the weeks and months after the attacks are dying from 9/11 related diseases.
This week, 22 new names have been added to the New York City Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial, and Manhattan’s 9/11 memorial dedicated a new section in May to those who died and those who will die from 9/11 related diseases.
It’s called the Memorial Glade; it has six giant stone monoliths with steel from the Twin Towers pointing skyward, roughly outlining the ramp that first responders walked for months into rubble of ground zero.
After widespread public pressure, Congress and the president recently extended the compensation fund which supports first responders who worked tirelessly at the Pentagon and Ground Zero in the days following 9-11.