Across the United States, people paused on Sunday to honor the memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Thousands gathered at New York’s ground zero, site of the World Trade Center, and stood still in silence, some crying as they listened to the names of victims attacks read aloud.
“They were our neighbors, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, along with President Barack Obama, helped lead the commemoration on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
“We have asked their families to speak their names out loud, to remind each of us about the person we lost in New York, in Washington and in Pennsylvania. They each had a face, a story, a life cut short from under them.”
A moment of silence spread across New York City at 8:46 a.m. — the time when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Houses of worship tolled their bells.
The city observed another moment of silence at 9:03 a.m., when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower, and again at 9:59 a.m., the time the South Tower collapsed; at 10:03 a.m., the time of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville; and at 10:28 a.m., the time the North Tower fell.
President Obama and former President Bush, along with their wives, both attended the ceremony and stood behind bullet-proof glass screens, a sharp reminder that the wound to America’s sense of security that was inflicted ten years ago has yet to heal.
Former President Bush read a letter sent by President Abraham Lincoln to a woman thought to have lost five sons in the Civil War. After President Obama had read Psalm 46 – “God is our refuge and strength,” those who lost loved ones in the attacks stepped forward to read names. In all, 2,753 people died on two airplanes and on the ground when the planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers, causing their collapse. That total does not include the 10 al Qaeda hijackers on board the planes.
Photo Credit: iStock
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