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Obama Pays Respects at Site of Pentagon Attack

Luis Ramirez

September 11, 2011

Sunday was a day of remembrance, tears and resolve as President Barack Obama joined millions of Americans in marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The president visited all three memorial sites in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama lay a wreath as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks are observed at the Pentagon in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011.

The last of the president’s three stops was here at the Pentagon, where he and first lady Michelle Obama laid a wreath in honor of the 184 people who perished at this spot on September 11, 2001, and shook hands with victims’ relatives.

 

Earlier Sunday, bells tolled in New York at the precise moment in the morning when the first jetliner struck one of the World Trade Center towers.

President Obama joined former President George W. Bush at a memorial plaza built at the former site of the towers where the names of the thousands of victims are etched in bronze.

At the remembrance ceremony, Mr. Obama read a Bible passage on courage. "We will not fear, even though the Earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea," he said.

The courage displayed by Americans on September 11, 2001 and in the decade since was the subject of praise for Vice President Joe Biden, who helped lead a solemn ceremony at the Pentagon. Mr. Biden paid tribute to the men and women who have enlisted in the nation's armed forces during past decade, and the thousands who have lost their lives fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Never before in our history has America asked so much over such a sustained period of an all volunteer force. So I can say without fear of contradiction or being accused of exaggeration, the [September 11] generation ranks among the greatest our nation has ever produced. And it was born, it was born, it was born right here on 9/11," he said.

At 9:37 in the morning, a moment of silence marking the exact time that five hijackers crashed American Airlines flight 77 into a section of the Pentagon, killing everyone onboard and 125 people on the ground.

That section of the building was long ago rebuilt and houses a chapel whose windows overlook a memorial for the 184 victims -- the scene of Sunday's ceremony.

At Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the president and first lady paid tribute at a monument in a field where United Airlines flight 93 crashed after its passengers fought the hijackers on that September morning.

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