NEW YORK, USA (UPDATED) – Americans on Wednesday, September 11 marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in somber fashion, with ceremonies of remembrance in New York and Washington.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives observed a moment of silence on the White House lawn. The president delivered remarks at the Pentagon–scene of one of the strikes.
In New York, relatives of those killed when hijacked airliners slammed into the World Trade Center gathered at Ground Zero to remember the dead.
Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani wiped away a tear as the ceremony unfolded, starting with a moment of silence at 8:46am (1246 GMT), when the first plane smashed into the Twin Towers.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on New York, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
‘Our hearts still ache’
Against the backdrop of possible US military action against Syria, Obama marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks first at the White House, and then at a solemn Pentagon ceremony attended by families of 9/11 victims and senior officers.
“We pray for the memory of all those taken from us–nearly 3,000 innocent souls,” Obama said.
“Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been,” he said.
“They left this Earth. They slipped from our grasp.”
Quoting the Bible, Obama spoke of “the miracle of restoration,” paying tribute to the resilient spirit of victims’ families, saying he was “amazed at the will that you’ve summoned in your lives to lift yourselves up and to carry on.”
US troops invaded Afghanistan shortly after the 9/11 attacks to oust the Taliban for giving refuge to Al-Qaeda, and Obama gave thanks to the American forces who served there but said the war was now coming to a close.
He said the country would remain vigilant in the face of future terror threats but said military might alone could not bring peace and security.
“Let us have the wisdom to know that while force is at times necessary, force alone cannot build the world we seek,” he said. – Rappler.com
World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 image from Shutterstock
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