Americans have paused to reflect on a decade of grief, fear and renewal that has followed the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, which killed close to 3000 people, cost billions of dollars and forever put the U.S. on alert.
Thousands gathered Sunday morning at New York’s Ground Zero, stood still in silence, some crying as they listened to the names of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks were read aloud.
President Barack Obama and George W. Bush joined families of the thousands of victims killed in New York on 9/11 this morning at Ground Zero as America remembered those who lost their lives in the terror attacks which shocked the world 10 years ago today.
President Bush, the country’s leader at the time of the attacks but who has maintained a low profile since leaving office, took centre stage in two ceremonies yesterday.
At the Pentagon, he led a brief and sombre silent tribute to the 184 people killed when a hijacked plane ploughed into the defence headquarters just outside Washington. Joined by his wife, Laura, he laid a wreath of white flowers by the memorial stone embedded in the wall where the plane struck.
Mr Bush later joined Bill Clinton, the former president, and Vice-President Joe Biden at a ceremony dedicating the marble “wall of names” near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was there that an on-board rebellion by passengers and flight crew foiled plans by the hijackers of United 93 to fly into the US Capitol or the White House, forcing them down instead into a remote field.
Meanwhile current President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked the day before the anniversary with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. There they paid silent tribute to the US soldiers who have fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan, conflicts brought about since 9/11 to prevent any such attack from occurring again.
The Obamas later volunteered in a Washington soup kitchen in order to promote a lasting notion that September 11 be held up as a day national service.
In New York, residents came together in Lower Manhattan to hold hands to commemorate those lost in the atrocities, whilst candles were lit and two beams of light shone skywards from where the twin towers once stood at Ground Zero as darkness fell on the eve on the tenth anniversary. [via The Telegraph (UK)]