News / USA

Memorial Service in New York Honors Victims of 9/11 Attacks

TEXT SIZE - +

Ten years ago, the United States homeland came under attack. Islamic terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into the two World Trade Center towers in New York and another into the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Sunday, family members attended a 10-year anniversary memorial service, where they were the first to tour the 6.5-hectare site on the original World Trade Center location.

Dawn over New York City. Gorgeous. And, promising. Just like it was 10 years ago until terrorists interrupted a sunny September morning. Family members gathered at the same spot where their loved ones died.   

At 8:46 a.m. there was silence to remember when the first plane struck the World Trade Center's North Tower.  

President Barack Obama read a psalm from the Bible.

"Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."

Then, family members and friends started reading the long list of victims.

At 9:03 a.m., silence again to mark the moment when the second plane hit the South Tower.

The was more silence for when the third plane hit the Pentagon, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania and when the North Tower collapsed.

Security was tight because of a new terrorist threat.  Streets were closed. Police lined the sidewalks.

But inside the memorial, family members say they felt the tranquility of trees and waterfalls, set within the footprints of where the towers once stood.

Mary Jane Maounis lost her brother James. She walked inside the memorial with her younger brother.

"He was looking down at the water to see where the water was in the pool and as he was looking down, his hand was leaning on the ledge and that's where his hand was, right on his name."

Maounis says right then, she felt she and her brother were together again, for the first time since that day 10 years ago. James was killed as the plane hit the south tower. He was on the 90th floor. She was on the 62nd.

"I had a hard time at first, why it was not me and why him and going through all those emotions. But now, at this time, I realize that's how life is sometimes and I guess there are reasons for it."

Eric Oertel traveled from Michigan to bring his children here. They weren't even born when his good friend, Christopher Ingrossia, died in the attack. Oertel says Christopher would have liked the 400 trees and the ever flowing water of the reflecting pools.

"He was a forward thinking guy. I think he would like the flip side - that life goes on. People move on."

Separate ceremonies are being held today at the Pentagon and the crash site of the fourth hijacked plane near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an award-winning television reporter who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.  She has won an Emmy, many Associated Press awards, and a Clarion for her coverage of Haiti,  national politics, the southern economy, and the 9/11 bombing anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Syrian medical crisis and the Asiana plane crash, and was VOA’s chief reporter from the Boston Marathon bombing.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid