US remembers victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks (Lead)September 11th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS
New York, Sep 11 (DPA) New York held a ceremony Friday on the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center’s twin towers, killing more than 2,700 people.
Families of the victims and government officials met near the site of the attacks, known as Ground Zero, under a cold rainy early morning and began the ceremony with a minute of silence at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time when the first hijacked plane hit one of the two towers.
At the same time at The White House in Washington, US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle also held a minute of silence in tribute to the 184 people killed when another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon. Obama has declared Sep 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Obama joined families of the victims for a remembrance service at the Pentagon and to lay a wreath at the Pentagon memorial.
“From this day forward we will safeguard the memories of those who died by remembering the spirit of service that led our city with hope and helped to keep us strong,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg joined New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, family members of the victims and a selected group of representatives of city departments, including police and firefighters, at Zuccotti Park near the World Trade Center site, for the ceremony.
Names of those killed in the attacks were read by family members and volunteers. Similar ceremonies were held in past years.
Another ceremony was to be held at 10.03 a.m. (0603 GMT) in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to remember the 40 victims of United Flight 93 that crashed there at that precise minute. Names of those killed were read.
The New York Daily News published a message by Obama, which called the terrorist attacks on Sep 11, 2001 a “tragedy that will be forever seared in the consciousness of our nation”.
“No one can guarantee that there will never be another attack,” the message said. “But what I can guarantee - what I can promise - is that we will do everything within our power to reduce the likelihood of an attack, and that I will not hesitate to do what it takes to defend America.”
The Daily News said Obama pledged his responsibility to protect the security of the American people and that his administration is taking steps to fight terrorism, such as tightening border security and building new partnerships around the world to dismantle Al Qaeda.
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