Obama: US Shows
Resilience on 10th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks
September 12, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama says the decade that followed the September
11 terrorist attacks shows “a story of resilience” for the United
Speaking on the 10th anniversary of
the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the President said the U.S.
“took a painful blow, and emerged stronger.” He said the nation showed
its resolve to defend its citizens and way of life.
Mr. Obama said the Pentagon is now repaired, a new memorial and tower
are taking shape at the former site of the World Trade Center, and
people in the U.S. continue to work in skyscraper offices, travel on
crowded public buses and subways, and live full lives without succumbing
to fear. He said the U.S. has also held strong to its core values of
equality, democracy, free speech, and freedom of religion, instead of
using the threat of further attacks to clamp down.
The speech, delivered at “A Concert for Hope” event in Washington , caps
off a full day of solemn tributes.
Events were held at each of the sites attacked a decade ago — in New
York City, the Pentagon outside Washington, and Shanksville,
Mr. Obama, leading the nation in remembrances of the tragic anniversary,
made a somber tour of all three sites.
In New York, he and predecessor George W. Bush walked through the
recently finished memorial at the site of the World Trade Center. Both
presidents participated in a ceremony in which family and loved ones
read the names of the thousands who were killed when two hijacked
jetliners struck the north and south towers of the Trade Center.
Mr. Obama later traveled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania where he and first
lady Michelle Obama laid a wreath in honor of the 40 lives lost when
Flight 93 crashed into a field outside the rural town. The president and
his wife greeted the victims' loved ones and visited the memorial wall
inscribed with each passenger and crew member's name.
Sunday afternoon, the president laid a wreath at the Pentagon memorial
commemorating the 184 victims of Flight 77's crash into the massive
Defense Department headquarters. While hymns played quietly, Mr. Obama
and his wife visited with the victims' families gathered at the memorial
ceremonies have been marked by moments of silence. In New York,
attendees fell quiet at 8:46 a.m. and again at 9:03 a.m. when each of
the planes struck the twin towers ten years ago. Attendees later paused
to remember when each of the towers fell, and they listened quietly as
family and loved ones of the victims read the names of those killed.
After the first moment of
silence in New York, President Obama read a Bible passage that speaks of
God as refuge and strength. After the second moment of silence, former
president Bush read a letter of support from Abraham Lincoln to a mother
who had lost all five of her sons in America's Civil War.
The Pentagon observed its moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. local time. At
the Pentagon, Vice President Joe Biden spoke of the bravery of first
responders and those who joined the military after September 11, 2001,
serving in the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other
dangerous areas. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the events of
September 11 have since strengthened and inspired the country.