News / USA

Americans Mark 9/11 Anniversary

Family members view the names of their relatives etched into the 9/11 Memorial during the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2012.
Family members view the names of their relatives etched into the 9/11 Memorial during the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2012.
VOA News
Thousands of people have gathered in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania to mark the 11th anniversary of the September 11 al-Qaida terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.

At the White House, President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and other dignitaries bowed their heads in a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT, the time on September 11, 2001 when the first of two jetliners struck the World Trade Center in New York.  

The president later led a ceremony at the memorial at the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military that was struck by a third plane in the attacks.

Obama stood in front of a huge American flag draped across the building. He told the families of victims that no matter how many years passed, their loved ones would never be forgotten.

In New York, the families of those killed took part in a ritual reading of the victims' names at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers that crumbled after being struck by the planes.  

Some people held up photos of their loves ones and cried during the observance.

  • The World Trade Center Flag is presented as friends and relatives of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site in New York, September 11, 2012.
  • President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and members of the White House staff pause during a moment of silence to mark the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.
  • A woman becomes emotional after reading the name of her father as friends and relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks gather at a memorial, New York, September 11, 2012.
  • Friends and relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks attend a ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the attacks, New York, September 11, 2012.
  • The tower known as 1 World Trade Center, left, the National September 11 Memorial, bottom left, and 4 World Trade Center, right, are bathed in light, New York, September 11, 2012.
  • Friends and relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks gather for a ceremony, New York, September 11, 2012.
  • Friends and relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks attend a ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the attacks, New York, September 11, 2012.
  • Some 2,977 American flags representing each person killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks decorate a lawn on the campus of Georgia Tech Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, September 11, 2012.
  • Forty luminaria are placed at the wall of names in memory of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 at the Flight 93 National Memorial at sunset on September 10, 2012 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  • A boy runs among flags flying at Pepperdine University in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Malibu, California, September 10, 2012.

Vice President Joe Biden is speaking at a ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a fourth hijacked jetliner crashed after passengers tried to take control of the plane, preventing it from possibly reaching another target in Washington.  

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is marking the anniversary in a speech to the National Guard Association convention in Reno, Nevada.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday visited the memorial in Shanksville dedicated to the passengers aboard United Flight 93.  He said the country must never forget the military personnel deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 to battle Taliban forces who gave shelter to al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

"My concern is that too often, we do not express our concern and our attention for those that are fighting and dying for this country. We're continuing to lose good men and women in battle in Afghanistan," said Panetta. "They are putting their lives on the line every day. And, every day, they are fighting to make sure that this country is protected. We cannot forget that sacrifice."  

Video of September 11 ceremonies in Washington and New York

In a related development, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a deal had been reached to resume construction of the September 11 museum on the grounds of the World Trade Center. The project had been halted by a dispute between the foundation controlling the museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency jointly headed by the governors of New York and New Jersey that owns the World Trade Center site.

Also on Monday, federal health officials announced they will add about 50 types of cancer to the list of diseases that will be covered under a special fund established to provide health care to people who became sick while working among the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center.

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Comment Sorting
by: hannah from: gary, in
September 12, 2012 10:32 AM
i will never forget 9/11 :-l

September 11, 2012 5:46 PM

by: almoros idriss from: cameroon
September 11, 2012 12:32 PM
God bless the innocent souls of 9/11 victims and their great families and friends! They are unforgetable souls and forever be our lights to free the world from the blind and wrong beliefs! Thank you so much the world peace heros at the front lines to defeat the terrorists and their wrong beliefs for better and more safer our world, and ever be blessed the USA!

by: Patriotica from: USA
September 11, 2012 9:11 AM

Smoke billows rolled
As planes shattered glass
Concrete and steel
The trees and the grass

An enemy attack
On the Land of the Free
How could this happen
How could this be

Our hearts gripped with fear
In sheer disbelief
Unbearable sorrow
One hardly could speak

As evil sought triumph
Through catastrophic strife
Towers fell and buildings crumbled
Tragically ending innocent lives

We cried out to God
Fell down on our knees
Hugged our families, friends, and strangers
Helping anyone in need

It was a day where we placed
All our differences aside
We were Americans facing tragedy
With courage, tears, and battle-cries

We remember 9-11
Those who paid the highest price
Those who bravely tackled evil
Those whose courage rescued lives

Unfathomable terror
Unfolded before our eyes
A day where heroes would die
And warriors… would rise.

We remember 9-11
Our lives forever changed
Those whose heartbeats too soon ended
Shall not have died in vain

Though evil fought for victory
The death of freedom was their prize
Americans will not bow to terrorists
And Our Freedom… Will… Survive

We remember 9-11
Yet our hearts, our hopes our dreams
Remain alive
Now hear our cry

We remember you, the sons and daughters, the fathers and mothers, the sisters and brothers, the aunts and uncles, the cousins, nieces, and nephews, the neighbors and strangers… the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the weak and the strong…

We remember you, the firemen, the policemen, the paramedics, nurses and doctors… the pilots, and passengers, the flight attendants, and co-workers… the citizens of New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania… and all those whose lives were forever changed because of the atrocities thrust upon this nation by a group of terrorists hell-bent on destroying our freedom and democracy, and our American way of life…

We remember you, our men and women in uniform, in the United States Marine Corps, the Navy, the Army, the Air Force and the Coast Guard…

For those who gave their all and for those continuing the fight for freedom to keep our Country safe… May GOD BLESS YOU and may GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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