America marked the one year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks with prayers, moments of silence, and other tributes to those who lost their lives on this day a year ago. Our Chris Simkins with more on a day of remembrance.
In many ways, it was so very simple. Three main ceremonies across the country to remember the victims of September 11. In New York, loved ones of those who died and dignitaries gathered at the World Trade Center site.
The service began with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
New York Governor George Pataki delivered the Gettysburg Address, a fitting speech first given on a civil war battlefield by former President Abraham Lincoln.
Later the names of all 2,801 victims of the World Trade Center attack were read aloud. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "They were our neighbors, our husbands, our children, our sisters our brothers and our wives,” he said.
They paused as a bell tolled for the moment when the second plane hit the other Trade Center tower. Not long after that, the second tower collapsed. In a somber moment, the relatives of the victims descended into the massive seven-story pit, which is now considered hallowed ground. They placed roses in a circular vase that will be preserved as a permanent memorial. They also paid tribute to the many heroes, firefighters and police officers who lost their lives trying to save others.
Many of the victims’ relatives were overcome with emotion.
Outside Washington, DC there was another ceremony at the Pentagon. There, people gathered to remember the 125 people who died inside the building and the 59 killed aboard the hijacked jet that crashed into the military headquarters.
President George W. Bush was there to lead the nation in reflections on the terrorist attacks. Standing beneath the rebuilt section of the Pentagon, President Bush told some 20,000 military personnel and civilians that the Pentagon is a symbol of the country’s might and resolve. He also pledged to win the war against terrorism. “And as long as terrorists and dictators plot against our lives and our liberty," he said, "they will be opposed by the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines.”
At the same time in a field in Pennsylvania, there was an observance to remember the 40 passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Reports say the passengers fought with their hijackers, ultimately causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania rather than its apparent intended target--the Capitol Building in Washington. Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl paid tribute to the hero’s of Flight 93. “The world is such a better place for having them for such a brief time," she said. "Adversity does not build character. Adversity reveals character. With this said, our loved ones were prepared in life to meet the challenges of September 11th. Each possessed the character needed to help one another fight against evil on that day that shocked America.”
Throughout the day there were more observances across the country in communities large and small as Americans remember those who lost their lives in the worst terrorist attack in the nation’s history.