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Several communities across Canada will honour the lives lost on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Twenty-four Canadians died that day among the 2,977 who lost their lives.

Al-Qaida operatives hijacked four planes, with two barrelling into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, another diving into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the fourth crashing in a field in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa will host an event at the Beechwood 9/11 Memorial, the lights on the Toronto sign will be dimmed and the International Peace Garden on the border between Manitoba and North Dakota will mark the occasion.

The small town of Gander, N.L., will host a series of events tomorrow to mark an unprecedented few days that saw its population grow by 6,600 people.

After the Federal Aviation Administration closed U.S. airspace, 34 passenger planes and four military planes landed in Gander.

The town will mark the sombre occasion with the unveiling of a new 9/11 memorial, an untold stories event at the airport and a commemoration service.

“The events of Sept. 11, 2001 impacted the world profoundly, on many levels,” Gander Mayor Percy Farwell said in a statement.

“In this context, citizens in Newfoundland and Labrador, and throughout Canada, found themselves in a position to respond and provide comfort, support, and reassurance to distressed travellers from around the world.”

The town has marked 9/11 every year since the attacks.

“This is not a celebration of Gander’s role in this tragedy,” Farwell said.

“It is an affirmation of the basic values that are so important in addressing global issues affecting those we share the planet with.”

The Canadian Press