US flag at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie at half-mast for 9/11

11th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The US flag at Berlin's iconic Cold War border crossing Checkpoint Charlie was lowered to half-mast Sunday in honour of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

A sign at the site, which marked the frontier between communist East Berlin and the American sector of the city, read: "We will not forget September 11, 2001." It was signed "We Berliners."

Earlier German President Christian Wulff marked the anniversary with an ecumenical memorial service at Berlin's American Church led by representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths.

The guests, who also included former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, leader of Germany at the time of the attacks, observed a minute of silence in memory of those killed in the suicide hijackings 10 years ago.

Wulff said the jihadist assault was a perversion of religious belief.

"(The attacks) violate the essence of religion and can in no way point to it for justification," he said.

Three of the September 11 hijackers including their ringleader Mohammed Atta, who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center, lived in the northern German port city of Hamburg before moving to the United States.

They planned the attacks in part in Hamburg and received logistical support from Islamist associates who stayed behind in Germany.

© 2011 AFP

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