On the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, the country continues to honor and mourn the loss of emergency workers and civilians, and its leaders emphasize a spirit of lasting unity and strength. In New York, the day arrived much the same as that crystal-clear fall morning that is indelibly etched into the consciousness of the nation.
“It is a solemn day, but it is also a day of service,” says the U.S. Department of Justice in a blog post entitled “ A Day of Remembrance.” “By taking time to serve others today we demonstrate our resolve and resilience as we continue to embrace democratic values and fundamental liberties, not fear and oppression.”
Leaders Visit Memorial Sites
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and laid a wreath at the site of the crash of one of the terrorist-controlled planes, which killed 184. A moment of silence began at the site at 9:37 a.m. Another plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa. in the terrorist attack, resulting in the deaths of 40 passengers who are believed to have challenged the terrorists in their last moments, taking the plane down before it could reach its destination.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, in recognition of the 72 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty on 9/11. “Their valor reminds us of the quiet power of compassion, patriotism, and selflessness,” said Holder.
“And – especially this morning – as we lift up their stories, we also affirm that this annual observance has always been about much more than the pain that was inflicted – and the buildings that were destroyed – eleven years ago today. It’s about the extraordinary life that binds us together,” he added.
NY Fire Department Tribute
The New York City Fire Department posted a special tribute to the 343 firefighters and paramedics who made “the supreme sacrifice”: rotating photos of the disaster scene are flanked by the names of those lost, which scroll up the page for several minutes while First Deputy Fire Commissioner William Freehan, who died on 9/11, speaks about the sacrifices that firefighters regularly make. “We all have the same wish, that we’ll never lose another,” he says.
World Trade Center Construction Continues
Meanwhile, construction continues of the “new” World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, with 4 WTC already reaching far above the rest of the Manhattan skyline. Four WTC is slated to be completed by the end of 2013 according to a NY1 News story posted on Silverstein Properties’ World Trade Center website, which features a video of construction, as well as a CGI mock-up of the completed skyscrapers. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum are also being built.
According to the site, 4 World Trade Center will be the first of five new skyscrapers that will occupy what was once known as Ground Zero, the site where the Twin Towers were struck with two airplanes taken over by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Both towers fell, resulting in the deaths not only of hundreds of emergency workers but of over 2,000 employees who were working in the towers on that blue-skied fall morning in New York at the end of a nation’s innocence.
The events of 9/11 had a profound effect on all Americans. Please share your thoughts and memories with us as we pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the attacks.