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America, World Remember September 11 Victims - 2001-12-11


Three months to the minute after terrorists attacked the United States, the world and America paused to remember the victims and their families. President Bush presided over ceremonies at the White House.

The sounds of the national anthem echoed around the world. The first note was heard precisely three months after the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center.

President Bush stood with one hand over his heart as a military band played "The Star Spangled Banner." He spoke briefly, in slow, even tones. His words reflected the mixed emotions of the day: sadness, anger, and determination. "Every one of the innocents who died on September 11, was the most important person on earth to somebody. Every death extinguished a world," he said.

The president said Americans remember the cruelty of the murderers and the pain and anguish of the murdered. He said there are strong memories, but an equally strong will to right a huge wrong. "We still have far to go and many dangers lie ahead. Yet there can be no doubt how this conflict will end. Our enemies have made the mistake that America's enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat," he said.

President Bush wanted this commemoration to be an international event, and the White House said ceremonies were held in more than 70 countries, from Australia to Kenya to Kazakhstan.

But the most poignant tributes were at the sites where the four hijacked airliners struck - the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania.

The president said in time, the United States will remember the victims with memorials of metal and stone, but he said for those who lived through the events of September 11, there are memories that will never die. "The only marker we will ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the 8th hour of the 11th day. We will remember where we were and how we felt. We will remember the dead and what we owe them. We will remember what we lost and what we found," he said.

The White House memorial was held in a large ceremonial room decorated with Christmas trees and the flags of countries that lost citizens in the terrorist attacks. Those in attendance included the families of some of the victims, and members of rescue teams that searched for survivors.

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