9-11: The terror of that moment returns
Sep 11, 2012 / 1:40 pm
Americans marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on a crisp, sunny day much like the one 11 years ago when nearly 3,000 victims were killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history. The commemoration was smaller and more subdued, a reflection of the nation moving on after a decade of remembrance.
Hundreds gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to read the names of the dead.
"Our country is safer, and our people are resilient," President Barack Obama said in a ceremony at the White House. He and first lady Michelle Obama laid a wreath at the Pentagon, above a concrete slab that said "Sept. 11, 2001, 937 am."
They later visited the graves of recent war dead from Afghanistan and Iraq at Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. military death toll years ago surpassed the 9-11 victim count.
Some said last year's 10th anniversary was a turning point for public mourning. For the first time, elected officials weren't speaking at the New York ceremony.
"I feel much more relaxed" this year, said Jane Pollicino, who came to remember her husband, who was killed at the trade centre. "It's another anniversary that we can commemorate in a calmer way, without that 10-year pressure."
Thousands had attended the ceremony in New York in previous years. This time, the crowd reached about 1,000 by late Tuesday morning. A few hundred attended ceremonies at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
As bagpipes played at the year-old Sept. 11 memorial in New York, families bowed their heads in silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment that the first hijacked jetliner crashed into the trade centre's north tower, and again to mark the crashes into the second tower, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
More than 4 million people have visited the memorial in the past year. On Tuesday, much of downtown Manhattan bustled like a regular weekday, except for clusters of police and emergency vehicles on the borders of the site.
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