US President George W Bush vowed to bring Osama bin Laden and other Al- Qaeda terrorists to justice as America remembered the September 11, 2001, terror attack victims from 90 countries, including India.
The war against terror was not a struggle of civilisations as portrayed by some, but a struggle for civilisation, a fight for freedom versus tyranny, he said in an address to the nation Monday night after paying silent tribute at the three attack sites - the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a hijacked jet crashed into a field.
In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led a ceremony of remembrance attended by the diplomatic corps, State Department officials and foreign dignitaries, including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Rui Zheng, whose parents were passengers on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon, and Floura Chowdhury, whose cousins Nurul Miah and Shakila Yasmin were killed as they worked in the World Trade Center, read the names of the countries that lost citizens in the attacks.
Marking the fifth anniversary of 9/11 at the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace led families and dignitaries in remembering the 184 people who died at the Pentagon.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cited terror attacks elsewhere in the world. "Today we remember all of those who lost their lives, not only on September 11," he said, "but in the struggle we have faced against extremists now for more than two decades.
Rumsfeld said many of the terrorists who have not been killed or captured are on the run, but the remaining terrorists still try daily "to convince us to doubt our prospects, to distrust one another and to believe that the battle against them cannot be won or is not worth the costs".
Vice President Dick Cheney, who joined Rumsfeld and Pace at the Pentagon ceremony said that when the government shifted to a war footing five years ago, the US mission was clear: To defend America against a present danger and to offer a democracy and hope as the alternative to extremism and terror.
In New York, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on UN member states to honour the 9/11 victims and victims of terrorism everywhere by taking swift action to implement all aspects of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 8.
The September 11 attacks "cut us all to the core, for they were an attack on humanity itself", Annan said.
In Geneva, Warren Tichenor, the US ambassador to the UN and other international organisations there, led a moment of silence observed at 2:46 p.m. local time (8:46 am New York Time), the hour at which American Airlines flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The fifth anniversary of 9/11 is a reminder of the shared challenge faced by an international community confronting terrorism, he said. "It has brought tragedy and terrible grief to innocent people across the world, from Indonesia to Morocco, Spain, Jordan, England, India and Egypt. Terrorists have shown no mercy for human life regardless of race, ethnicity or religion."