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Americans Mark 5th Anniversary of Terror Attacks

Americans are marking the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks Monday, by observing moments of silence and reading the names of the victims.

President Bush joined firefighters and police officers at a firehouse in New York City. The group bowed their heads and paused in silence twice, at the exact times hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center, destroyed the famous twin towers.

Bagpipes played at Ground Zero, the barren pit where the tall towers once stood. Spouses and partners of the 2,749 people killed in the towers read each one of the victims' names, one at a time. Other family members gathered to listen, many holding photographs of their loved ones and bouquets of flowers.

Later Monday, Mr. Bush will also participate in ceremonies at the Pentagon near the nation's capital, hit by another airliner, and in an empty field (near Pittsburgh) in Pennsylvania, where a fourth hijacked jet crashed after passengers tried to overpower their captors.

The attacks killed nearly three thousand people within a few hours, making them the deadliest on American soil.

Memorial observances for the September 11 victims are also being held across the United States and in other countries Monday, including Russia and Great Britain.

The president will address the nation from the White House Monday evening just after 1 hour, Universal Time, on Monday.

At the Pentagon, Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that September 11 has ceased to be an ordinary day on the calendar. He said after the attacks, grief soon hardened into resolve, and that much sacrifice lies ahead.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.