Photo Credit: Matty Stern / US Embassy Tel Aviv
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the 16th anniversary memorial ceremony for the victims of 9/11 attacks in a memorial monument in the Jerusalem Hills on September 11, 2017.

An estimated 500 people gathered at the Keren Kayemet L’Israel / Jewish National Fund Living Memorial in the Jerusalem Hills on Monday to join the U.S. Embassy in marking the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attack on the United States by Al Qaeda.

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U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman spoke at the official memorial ceremony, as did a number of other dignitaries, including KKL-JNF CEO Amnon Ben-Ami, Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog, and Iowa Governor Kimberly Reynolds.

Nearly three thousand people died in the multi-site attack, which involved 19 Al Qaeda hijackers on four commercial passenger airlines.

The planes were used as flying missiles; two were aimed directly at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; another was flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC.

But the trajectory of the fourth plane was sabotaged in its flight, and instead was brought down in a field in Pennsylvania by a group of brave passengers who tackled their captors, rather than allow the plane to reach its intended target, believed to have been the White House.

Five Israelis died during the attacks that day.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.