Ground zero ceremony set to commemorate the 1993 terror bombing

NEW YORK – Survivors and others are to gather at ground zero for a solemn tribute to the victims of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the deadly bomb attack 25 years ago.

Monday is the anniversary of the explosion, which killed six people, one of them pregnant. The planned commemoration includes a Mass in a church in the neighborhood of the trade center and a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial plaza, with the reading of the victims names and a moment of silence at 12:18 pm, when the bomb exploded and was a harbinger of terror on the twin towers.

“While overshadowed by 9/11, the 1993 bombing represented a crucial moment in the history of the World Trade Center, in the history of New York City, and, frankly, our own national reckoning with the terrorism, in an era,” said Sept. 11 museum president Alice Greenwald, the setting of which has a permanent exhibition about the bombing and a special installation to commemorate the anniversary. “It had so many of the elements that we would later come to associate with 9/11.”

The bomb, which is in an underground parking garage, was by Muslim extremists who sought to punish the U.S. for its Middle East policies, according to the federal prosecutors. Six bombing suspects were sentenced and in prison, including accused ringleader Ramzi Yousef — a nephew of self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A seventh suspect in the bombing remains at large.

An estimated 50,000 people fled the blacked-out twin towers, which find their way down smoky staircases, others rescued from jammed lifts or plucked from rooftops by the police helicopters. More than 1000 people were injured.

A memorial fountain dedicated to the 1993 bombing was crushed in the attacks that destroyed the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. But the bombing of the victims names are now enrolled on one of the memorial pools which bear the names of the almost 3000 dead on 9/11.

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