News / USA

Obama Visits Ground Zero

U.S. President Barack Obama poses with officers of the First Precinct police station in lower Manhattan during a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, May 5, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama poses with officers of the First Precinct police station in lower Manhattan during a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, May 5, 2011.

Four days after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama visited New York City to pay tribute to those killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It was Mr. Obama’s first visit as president to what is now called "Ground Zero."

Almost 10 years after the World Trade Center was destroyed, President Obama went to New York to meet with the families of the victims and emergency workers who died that day.

Roughly 2,800 people were killed when members of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terror network hijacked commercial airliners and crashed them into both 110-story towers of the World Trade Center.  The location of the buildings has since been referred to as Ground Zero. 
The president’s first stop was a firehouse in midtown Manhattan that lost 15 firefighters - an entire shift - on September 11.  The surviving firefighters have covered one wall of the station with pictures of their fallen colleagues and messages from their families.

Mr. Obama had lunch with the firefighters at the station and praised their everyday heroism.

He said he hoped the killing of bin Laden is of some comfort to them in the name of the colleagues they lost in 2001.

Related video report by Peter Fedynsky


"What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget; we mean what we say," he said.

Afterward, New York Fire Department Chief Edward Kilduff said the station Mr. Obama visited symbolizes the sacrifices made by New York’s emergency workers on September 11, 2001, and that the president understands those sacrifices.

"So for him to come here and to see the faces of the firefighters that were killed on September 11 and to see the shrine that was erected in their honor really meant something to him.  I could see that the president was clearly touched by the sacrifices and by the stories that the firefighters told him," Kilduff said.

From there, Mr. Obama visited a police station in lower Manhattan.  He told officers who were working on September 11 that he could not be more proud of them or more grateful for their work.  He said the killing of bin Laden was directly connected to what they do every day.

At Ground Zero, the president silently took part in a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of those who died at the World Trade Center.

At about the same time, Vice President Joe Biden laid a wreath at the Pentagon Memorial, to honor the 184 people who were killed on September 11 when al-Qaida slammed a plane into the side of the Defense Department headquarters.

After the wreath-laying in Manhattan, President Obama met with the families of about 60 of the people who died in the New York attack.  He was seen shaking hands, talking briefly and hugging many of the family members.

Ground Zero is now a construction zone, where workers are building the National September 11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower.  The skyscraper will stand 1,776 feet high-representing the year 1776, when the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed.  

The president’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said Mr. Obama will return to New York in September to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti:

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid