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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid