Mourners in the U.S. gathered on Friday to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as the anniversary was proclaimed a national day of service.

In New York, Vice-President Joe Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathered with families of the victims near the site of the attacks on the World Trade Centre's twin towers, known as Ground Zero, on a cold rainy morning and began the ceremony with a minute of silence at 8:46 a.m. (0446 GMT), the time the first terrorist-hijacked airplane hit one of the towers. At the same time, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle held a minute of silence at the White House. Mr. Obama has declared September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Mr. Obama later joined families of the victims for a remembrance service at the Pentagon, which was hit by another hijacked plane killing 184 people. He laid a wreath at the Pentagon's own memorial. "We remember with reverence the lives we lost," said Mr. Obama. "Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still. In defence of our nation, we will never waver."

Another ceremony was held at 10:03 a.m. in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to remember the 40 victims of United Flight 93 that crashed there at that precise minute.

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