Across the United States Thursday Americans remembered the nearly 3,000 victims
of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the second anniversary of that
tragic day. Under a brilliant blue sky, the sound of bagpipes and a drum filled
the air at Ground Zero, where two planes hijacked by terrorists slammed into
the World Trade Center towers in New York, two years ago, causing their collapse.
Thousands of people, including the families of victims, wore black or yellow
ribbons, symbolizing mourning and hope.
Wiping back tears, they carried flowers and pictures of those who died on
the site of the most devastating terrorist assault in U.S. history.
Today, again, we are a city that mourns," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
setting the tone of the anniversary. "We come here to honor those that we lost
and to remember this day with sorrow. But we also remember with pride, and from
that comes our resolve to go forward."
One of the most poignant aspects of the memorial service came when more than
200 children who lost relatives in the tragedy approached a microphone in pairs
and read the names of those killed in the attack.
When my mom told me that I could read names, I just wanted to, because I knew
my dad would be proud of me, if I did," said Emily Tompset, who lost her father
and participated in the ceremony. "And I also wanted the people that did this
to us to know that they could take my dad away, but they couldn't take his spirit
names of victims during ceremony at site of World Trade Center attacks
At the White House, President Bush paused with his staff on the South Lawn
and bowed his head in silence at the time when the first hijacked plane hit
the World Trade Center.
Earlier, after attending a church service, the president described the anniversary
as a day to remember lives lost and the heroic deeds of those who helped the
We remember the compassion and the decency of our fellow citizens on that terrible
day," he said. "Also, today is a day of prayer. We pray for the husbands and
wives and moms and dads and sons and daughters and loved ones of those who still
grieve and hurt."
up victims' pictures during ceremony in New York
At Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
placed a wreath near a marker memorializing the more than 180 people killed
when a third hijacked airliner hit the Pentagon.
General Myers said all who died that day are heroes, as are those soldiers
who have died in the war on terrorism that followed.
"For the last two years, we have been a nation at war," reminded General
Myers. "Terrorists are trying to defeat what we Americans stand for - for peace,
freedom, tolerance and respect for human life. So we have undertaken an enormous
effort to prevent them from spreading their creed of bloodshed, of hatred,
In a dramatic reminder of the continuing danger of terrorism, the U.S. State
Department issued a new worldwide alert, warning that al-Qaida my be planning
new operations "more devastating" than the attacks two years ago.
The advisory warned of possible attacks overseas, and said U.S. officials "cannot
rule out the potential" for the terrorist group to attempt another catastrophic
assault on the United States.
The warning came as Secretary of State Colin Powell attended a memorial ceremony,
saying the United States is leading nations "around the globe to come together
in a worldwide effort to wipe terrorism from the face of the earth."
"Faithful friends and former foes alike have united against terror, and we
are bringing every tool of statecraft to bear against it," said Mr. Powell.Ceremonies
were also held near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a fourth airliner crashed,
after passengers rose up to fight their hijackers. All 40 passengers and crew
on board died in the crash.
Across the nation, other services were held, where church bells tolled, wreaths
were laid, and moments of silence were observed, as the nation remembered the
attacks, and those who died in them, September 11, 2001.