Victims and Heroes Remembered in New York
September 11, 2011
On a day as clear as September 11, 2001, President Barack Obama and
former president George W. Bush walked with their wives to the memorial
pools built in the footprints of the former twin towers of the World
Trade Center. They bowed their heads and hugged family members of some
of those killed.
of two giant memorial pools created in the footprints where the twin
towers of the World Trade Center once stood, New York, September 11,
2011. VOA - C. Presutti
Streets around the site were crowded with visitors, tourists and family
members. One woman could speak only three words. Asked why she was there
today, she responded simply, "For my son."
At 8:46 a.m., there was a moment of silence to remember when the first
plane struck the World Trade Center's North Tower. President Obama,
standing before white oak trees newly planted on the memorial plaza,
read a psalm from the Bible as the ceremony began.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble," he
said. "Therefore, we will not fear even though the earth be removed, the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”
Family members in New York read the names of the 2,983 people killed.
Nicholas Gorki never knew his father, Sebastian.
“I never met [him] because I was in my mother’s belly," he said. "I love
you, father. I love you for loving the idea of having me. You gave me
the gift of life, and I wish you could be here to enjoy it with me.”
Hamdani spoke of her son, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, one of an estimated
several-hundred Muslim victims of the attacks. He was an EMT and lab
tech on his way to work that morning who chose instead to go to the
World Trade Center to help.
"You rushed into the burning towers to rescue humanity and transcended
the barriers of race, faith and ethnicity, and gave the ultimate
sacrifice," said Hamdani.
Family members, friends and New York officials took part in the
dedication of the new memorial at the so-called Ground Zero. The names
of the victims are cut in bronze panels overlooking the waterfalls
rushing into the two pools. The memorial opens to the public on Monday.