Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and on Wednesday and Thursday, Americans honored those lost.
"This year, for perhaps the first time since the attacks, a sense of normalcy and openness has taken root in the city blocks where two airliners hijacked by militants from al Qaeda crashed into the World Trade Center's twin towers," Reuters reports. The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum was open Thursday to families of the victims and emergency personnel. The public will be allowed into the museum after 6:00 p.m. Thursday.
A ceremony in New York City on Thursday featured the reading of the names of the 2,983 people lost in the attacks and moments of silence during the times when the planes struck the North and South Towers. Similar ceremonies were held in Washington, D.C., where a hijacked plane struck the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where one of the four hijacked planes crashed. President Obama spoke at a Pentagon ceremony on Thursday for relatives of those lost.
Below are a few of the most moving, heartbreaking images of Americans paying respect to those lost in 2001. --Meghan DeMaria
The Tribute in Lights rises behind the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Sept. 10. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden join victims' relatives, politicians, and others for a moment of silence on Sept. 11. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Paola Braut, of Belgium, mourns her son Patrice, along the edge of the North Pool during memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. (REUTERS/Justin Lane/Pool)
Rick Sarmiento (center) embraces Karen Bingham (left) and Nancy Root during a visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 10. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A woman visits the benches of the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)