9/11 Anniversary: Around the country, Americans pause to remember
The nation commemorated the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with moments of silence and a determination to carry on. In New York, the families of those lost visited the 9/11 Memorial for the first time.
The nation commemorated the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with moments of silence, reflection on the sacrifices of first responders, and a determination to carry on despite the loss of nearly 3,000 lives.Skip to next paragraph
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In New York, cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed a Bach concerto and Paul Simon sang "The Sound of Silence" while family members read the names of their lost loved ones. At the Pentagon, a giant American flag streamed down one wall as honor guards dipped their standards. And, in Shanksville, Pa. where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed when passangers wrestled control of the aircraft from the hijackers, a children’s choir sang and only family members were allowed on the spot where the plane had struck the ground.
But even in places far from the terrible events of that day 10 years ago, communities stopped to remember.
In Ashland, Ore., pop. 22,000 and 3,000 miles from New York, the Ashland Fire & Rescue fire station held a ceremony featuring a 65-pound piece of steel from one of the girders from the destroyed towers.
Even farther away, at Hawaii’s Richardson Field, there was a 5K race to honor fallen New York fireman Stephen Siller who ran from Brooklyn under the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to the twin towers 10 years ago.
In many communities, local law enforcement agencies and fire departments planned ceremonies to honor those who died. In Des Moines, Iowa, local law enforcement officials planned a one-mile walk to honor those who died on 9/11. One of the Des Moines fire departments planned to sell “Remember” T-shirts with the proceeds going to firefighters and their families who need help.
Many of the events of the day involved volunteers, such as one in New York’s Byrant Park where people using manual typewriters recorded how visitors to the park answered the question, “What would you like the world to remember about 9/11?”
As a backdrop to the effort, 2,753 empty chairs faced south toward the World Trade Center site.
According to the 9/11 Day of Observance, there could be as many as 1 million Americans paying tribute through service. That would include about 2,300 George Washington University freshmen and student leaders who planned to visit 15 sites in the Washington, D.C.-area to work on service projects such as school beautification and environmental cleanup.
Many churches, synagogues and mosques planned programs to help their communities and congregations. For example, West End Collegiate Church in New York planned an afternoon program called “Voices of Hope and Healing.”
“Come. Hear. Reflect. Share. Express. Create,” said a flier about the program.
The ceremonies in New York and Washington were conducted under intense security due to reports late last week of what officials termed a credible and specific but unconfirmed terror threat to detonate some kind of explosive at a bridge or tunnel. New York flooded the city with policemen armed with automatic weapons and set up vehicle checkpoints.
In Washington, police worked 12-hour shifts and planned to tow away unattended vehicles near sensitive areas.