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Bush Leads White House 9/11 Ceremony


President Bush led the American people Sunday in remembering the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The nation marked the passing of four years with prayers and quiet reflection.

September 11, 2005, dawned clear and bright, much like the morning four years ago that changed the nation and the world.

At 8:46 a.m., the exact moment the attacks began, Americans paused to mourn, pray, and reflect.

In ways large and small, they remembered the almost 3,000 victims of the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history, those killed when four hijacked jets slammed into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

President Bush led a moment of silence on the south lawn of the White House, standing with the first lady, dignitaries and members of his staff. Only the sound of a lone bugler broke the quiet.

Earlier, the president attended a private service at a neighborhood church. A public memorial ceremony was also held at Arlington National Cemetery, where there were words of remembrance not just for those lost in the September 11th attacks, but also those killed in the ensuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the war on terrorism is one that America must and will win.

"Today, history is being written by the valiant men and women of America's armed forces, and by determined citizens who will do all they can to win this test of wills, for that is what it is, to keep our children from experiencing the heartbreak and terror of September 11th," he said.

Secretary Rumsfeld also led a march through the nation's capital, organized by the Pentagon to remember the dead, and show support for U.S. troops now serving in harm's way.

Called a "Freedom Walk" by organizers, the event ended with music on the grounds of the Washington Monument, and a poignant message in the lyrics of a song.

CLINT BLACK SONG: "…and I am finding out the hard way, there will never be a time when I don't think about you…"

Thousands of people joined in the march. The crowd included a small group of anti-war protesters, but in keeping with the tone of the day, they kept their criticism muted, and walked quietly with the others.

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