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19 years later: Remembering Sept. 11 through unforgettable photos

In a year when the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped countless American rituals, even the commemoration of 9/11 could not escape unchanged.

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The photos below are graphic in nature.

Today, Americans across the nation will take a moment to remember the 2,977 people killed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks with tributes altered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In New York, a dispute over coronavirus precautions is leading to separate remembrances. The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum canceled its tradition of having relatives read the names of the dead aloud. It will offer a recording instead to those gathered at the World Trade Center site.

Some victims’ relatives felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact. A different 9/11 group, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, set up a simultaneous ceremony.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden both plan to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania Friday, though not at the same time.

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Vice President Mike Pence plans to attend both events. Biden will also attend the main New York observance before heading to Pennsylvania. 

Arlington County is conducting its annual Sept. 11 ceremony as a virtual event. The county is home to the Pentagon. A remembrance ceremony scheduled for Friday at 9:30 a.m. will be livestreamed on the county's website to accommodate the coronavirus pandemic.

Below are 14 photos The Associated Press captured 19 years ago.

Warning: The photos below are graphic in nature. Please do not scroll any further if you'd prefer not to see.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center after hijacked planes crashed into the towers, in New York City. The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped how the U.S. is observing the anniversary of 9/11. The terror attacks' 19th anniversary will be marked Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, by dueling ceremonies at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza and a corner nearby in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Credit: DOUG KANTER
A man stands in the rubble and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower On Sept. 11, 2001.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE -- People flee lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, in this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, following a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. This year will mark the fifth anniversary of the attacks. (AP Photo/Daniel Shanken/FILE)
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, three people make their way through a cloud of caustic dust after terrorists flew two airliners into the World Trade Center towers in New York. For New Yorkers in or near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the sights and sounds of everyday life can still trigger painful memories and strong psychological reactions. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
A fire truck is surrounded by dust and debris near the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Bernadette Tuazon)
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center and flames as debris explodes from the second tower in New York. A bill passed by Congress allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government has reinforced to some in the Arab world a long-held view that the U.S. only demands justice for its own victims of terrorism, despite decades of controversial U.S. interventions around the world.(AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong, File)
Credit: AP
FILE- In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center towers stood. A bill passed by Congress allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government has reinforced to some in the Arab world a long-held view that the U.S. only demands justice for its own victims of terrorism, despite decades of controversial U.S. interventions around the world. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer, File)
Credit: AP
FILE- In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, fire and smoke billows from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers. A bill passed by Congress allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government has reinforced to some in the Arab world a long-held view that the U.S. only demands justice for its own victims of terrorism, despite decades of controversial U.S. interventions around the world. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, firefighters make their way through the rubble after two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in New York bringing down the landmark buildings. The White House lashed out at Congress on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, a day after Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill to allow families of the 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The White House turned to mockery as top GOP leaders expressed buyer's remorse and vowed to fix the bill. (AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin/File)
Credit: AP
Dust and debris cloud the air near the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Bernadette Tuazon)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
**FILE**Emergency workers look at the crater created when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001. "United 93," the first big-screen dramatization centered on the terrorist attacks, is everything you could imagine and more, a painfully authentic account of the hijacked plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers fought to retake the jet. Are audiences ready for this? The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival, Tuesday, April 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, a helicopter flies over the Pentagon in Washington as smoke billows over the building. Partial remains of several 9/11 victims were incinerated by a military contractor and sent to a landfill, a government report said Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in the latest of a series of revelations about the Pentagon's main mortuary for the war dead. The terrorist-hijacked airliner that slammed into the west side of the Pentagon killed 184 people. (AP Photo/Heesoon Yim, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
As seen from the New Jersey Turnpike near Kearny, N.J., smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York after airplanes crashed into both towers Tuesday, Sept.11, 2001. (AP Photo/Gene Boyars)
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, people run from the collapse of one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York. Stephen Cooper, far left, fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower crumbled just a block away on Sept. 11, has died from coronavirus, his family said, according to The Palm Beach Post. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)

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