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Americans Mark Anniversary of 2001 Terror Attacks

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Solemn memorials are being held in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks orchestrated by al-Qaida terrorists.

In New York, families and friends of victims gathered at the site where hijacked planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

In what has become a tradition, the names of the victims were read.



"Richard L. Allen, Richard Dennis Allen and my son, our son, Port Authority police officer Christopher Charles Amoroso. Chris, keep your watchful eye and steady hand on your wife, beautiful daughter Sophia, your brothers, sisters, grandmas, nieces, nephews, family and friends and of course your mama and I. We all love you and miss you very much."



In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama observed a moment of silence at the time the first jetliner crashed in New York. He later joined family members of the more than 100 people killed when a jetliner struck U.S. military headquarters.



"We pray for the memory of all those taken from us, nearly 3,000 innocent souls. Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away."



Later, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey said a photo taken after the hijacked plane hit the building captured the spirit of those inside.



"In the image, three uniformed military personnel, two civilians and EMT and a chaplain, are attending to a wounded co-worker. All seven disregard the chaos and the terror all around them. Instead of running away in understandable fear for their own lives and safety, these seven souls instead ran toward the fallen one."



In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, killing 33 passengers and seven crew the names of those who perished on the flight were read.



The plane crashed as passengers attempted to regain control from hijackers, who were believed to be flying toward Washington.

Relatives of the victims joined the National Park Service Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony for a visitor center at the Flight 93 Memorial.

Wednesday also is the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

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