16 years later, thousands -including Mattis- expected to attend 9/11 memorials

Secretary of Defense James Mattis visits the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2017, to pay his respects to those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)

In the wake of two catastrophic natural disasters, thousands of Americans are expected to flock to the sites of the devastating attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Sixteen years after the incident, thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected to gather Monday at the World Trade Center, coming together to pay homage to those lost in the deadliest attack on US soil to date.

Despite the fact that over a decade and a half has passed since the tragic airborne attacks, each ceremony in New York City is just as personal and heavy as the last. The messages and invocations have always been different- yet still hang the same emotional weight.

Meanwhile, Washington DC stands in somber solidarity as Pentagon officials -including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and General Joseph Dunford- host a private observance for the relatives of those taken in the attack on the Pentagon.

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke are scheduled to deliver remarks at the Flight 93 National Memorial, where one of the airliners crashed after passengers and crew attempted to overpower the hijackers before the plane could reach a target in Washington DC.

According to Military.com, the New York memorial site is still in the process of rebuilding, and New York native President Donald Trump is expected to partake in today’s remembrance ceremonies.

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