Thousands pay respects at 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA


It's been ten years since the attacks of September 11th, 2001 - but the memory and the pain are still fresh.

At a ceremony at Ground Zero Sunday, attended by President Obama, former President Bush, as well as some of the many thousands who lost friends and family on that day, tribute was paid and a memorial finally dedicated in the footprint of the World Trade Center.

Where the towers stood, there are now twin rectangles of granite dug into the ground, with waterfalls on all sides, and the names of the dead inscribed along the perimeters.

The memorial opens to the public Monday.

As has become tradition, the names of all who died in the attacks were read aloud by family members, many of whom could scarcely hold back tears. Interrupted only by a bell tolling at four times to commence moments of silence, for the times at which the planes collided, and the moments the towers fell.

Also today, victims' family members observed a solemn day of remembrance at the Pentagon and crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 
Members from every branch of the Armed Forces placed wreaths on the Pentagon Memorial benches - one for each of the 184 victims.
Just a few hours later President Obama laid his own wreath, honoring those killed in the terror attack here, a decade ago.

Merrilly Noeth's 30 year old son Michael was a member of the Navy working on the ground floor when Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

"It's 10 years and I just start crying," said Merrilly Noeth. "A parent should not bury a child."

An American flag is draped over Pentagon just as it was in the days following the attack. Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta led the morning tribute to the victims.

"The terrorists who attacked the Pentagon sought to weaken America by shattering a defining symbol of our military might and prowess. They failed," said V.P. Joe Biden. 

Bells tolled 175 miles away - after family and friends read the names of each person who died - when Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Earlier in the day the President and First Lady visited the newly-dedicated 9/11 Memorial there, met with families of the 40 victims and walked to the boulder that marks the spot where passengers helped bring down the plane.

President Obama will speak Sunday night at the "Concert for Hope" at the Kennedy Center capping off the day's ceremonies.

Monday members of Congress will hold a remembrance on the front steps of the Capitol.



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