News / USA

Obama to Speak at National Cathedral 9/11 Concert

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will spend the evening of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at an interfaith prayer and concert service at Washington National Cathedral.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama will deliver remarks at the event, called "A Concert for Hope."

The president and the first lady will travel that day to the three sites of the September 11 plane crashes - New York, the Pentagon outside Washington and the rural community of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 people died when terrorists hijacked four U.S. commercial airplanes and flew them into New York's World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania as passengers and crew fought their hijackers.

Carney has said the president will pay tribute to those who lost their lives, as well as honor those who responded to the disaster. Mr. Obama also plans to honor military personnel who have served in the country's subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other missions aimed at rooting out the terrorists responsible for the attacks.

In his weekly address Saturday, the president said Americans should honor September 11 victims by doing acts of charity. He called for the anniversary to be a National Day of Remembrance and Service.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said former president George W. Bush, who was in office at the time of the attacks, will join Obama at the commemoration in New York. Most of those killed on September 11, 2001 were inside the two towering World Trade Center buildings that collapsed after terrorists flew passenger jets into their upper floors.

Bloomberg said dignitaries gathered for the 10th anniversary will not give speeches, but rather read poems or quotes appropriate for the occasion.

The New York ceremony will also mark the opening of a memorial plaza, where the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks, as well as those killed in a 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, have been etched into bronze panels.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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