NEW YORK (AP) - Bells have tolled throughout New York City and mourners have observed a moment of silence to mark the time terrorists began their attack on America nine years ago.
Politics threatened to overshadow Saturday's day of mourning for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims amid a polarizing national debate over a mosque planned blocks from the World Trade Center site.
The first plane hijacked by Islamic extremists hit the center's north tower at 8:46 a.m. in 2001. Within hours, both towers were rubble and thousands were dead there, at the Pentagon and at a crash site in Shanksville, Pa.
Thousands of demonstrators for and against the planned Islamic center were expected after—and perhaps during—the typically somber anniversary ceremony.