News / USA

Panetta: Nobody Attacks US ‘and Gets Away With It’

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during the National Anthem at the start of an event at the Pentagon, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during the National Anthem at the start of an event at the Pentagon, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
Luis Ramirez

The existence of what U.S. officials say is a credible but unconfirmed terrorist threat is not changing President Obama’s plans to visit the Pentagon on the 9/11 anniversary.  Commemoration events began at the Pentagon on Friday - under heightened security.  

Under a drizzling rain, a large number of Pentagon employees gathered in the military headquarters’ courtyard to remember the day when hijackers slammed an American Airlines Boeing 757 into a side of the building.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was among those attending a commemoration ceremony for employees and other innocent victims who perished when the airplane crashed into and destroyed part of the huge structure.

“Though the gaping hole in this building has long been repaired, there remains a gaping hole in our hearts," he said.  "We still feel deeply the loss of 184 people who perished here that morning.”

He said the attacks at the Pentagon and in New York’s World Trade Center caused the country to unite and strengthened the military’s resolve to hunt down terrorists like Osama bin Ladin.  

“One of my proudest moments was as CIA director, being able to work on the operation [with] some of our finest intelligence officers working with some of our special forces teams to be able to make a very clear point - to our country and to the world  - that nobody attacks this country and gets away with it,” he said.   

Panetta spoke as authorities here and in New York tightened security following reports of what officials say is a credible but not yet confirmed threat of a terrorist plot to strike during September 11th commemorations.  Officials say they are trying to corroborate information they received that one or more attackers might have entered the United States in the past few days to carry out attacks.

The Pentagon earlier in the week announced it heightened security at military installations in the continental United States ahead of the 9/11 anniversary before gaining knowledge of a credible threat.   

Marcia Zisman is an Army employee who was working in the Pentagon when it was attacked 10 years ago.  Zisman, who is deaf, spoke through an interpreter, calling it the worst day of her life - one she hopes will never be repeated.

“I feel healed, but with scars, many scars that will never go away,” she said.

Zisman on Friday was among the first employees to line up in the Pentagon courtyard to sew a stitch onto a U.S. flag that was destroyed in the aftermath of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid