A massive police presence in New York’s Lower Manhattan district has been mobilised ahead of a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
The US Department of Homeland Security says there has been no credible or specific threat this year, but authorities aren’t taking any chances.
The ceremony at ground zero will resemble years past.
‘The Tribute in Light’ will shine beams of light 6.5 kilometres into the sky.
The art installation comprises 88 searchlights placed 6 blocks south of the new World Trade Center to create two vertical columns of blue light to represent the Twin Towers .
President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama will attend the formal ceremony at Memorial Plaza, where the towers stood.
Family members will be there to read out the names of the victims.
There’ll be pauses for 6 moments of silence.
They’ll mark the times planes hit the towers; when the buildings fell; and when planes crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania where the President at the time, George W Bush will speak on Saturday.
President Biden called for national unity, calling it ‘”America’s greatest strength in the face of adversity”.
He said; “Unity doesn’t mean we have to believe the same thing. We must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other, and in this nation.”
In a video release, the president honored the memories of those killed and injured, as well as the first responders who risked or gave their lives.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including 10 Australians.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has sent a message of solidarity to those who lost loved ones.
He posted an address on social media on Saturday.
The PM said the terrible event was one that forced the world to acknowledge nothing would be ever the same again.
Mr Morrison said it was an awful human tragedy “riddled with great personal suffering and grief, but in that dark time, there was also light”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commended Australia for standing with his nation after the attacks.
He recalled NSW rural firefighters leaving a helmet at the US Consulate in Sydney.
It had a message for first responders.
“To all stations, come home safe”.