In memorial ceremonies across the nation, and much of the
world, people observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the nearly
3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United
States. The fifth anniversary may be the last one at the Ground Zero site.
Five years after the attacks, much of the focus of the commemorations
was on New York where more than 2,700 people died when two hijacked
airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, shaking the United
States' confidence and changing the New York skyline forever.
As at the previous commemorations at Ground Zero, family members read
the names of the dead in a solemn ceremony against a sound track of somber
and patriotic music.
Dozens of religious services and commemorative events took place around
the city. At one, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that as New York rebuilds,
children must be taught more about the attack than the devastation it
"We must also share with them the beautiful memories of the loved ones
we lost and of the incredible examples of courage we witnessed on that
day," said Michael Bloomberg. "And most of all we must share with them our
hope for the future, their future. That is how we will truly honor the
memory of each of the 2,749 people we lost."
President and Mrs. Bush paid their respects on Sunday, placing a wreath
on one of the reflecting pools at Ground Zero. They spent part of Monday
morning at a firehouse near the site before traveling to the field near
Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where 40 people died after wresting control of
hijacked plane. The Bushes then returned to Washington and placed a wreath
at the Pentagon site where a fourth hijacked plane killed 184 people upon
Earlier in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke during a memorial
ceremony at the Pentagon.
"We have learned that oceans do not protect us, and threats that gather
thousands of miles away can now find us here at home," said Dick Cheney.
The events of 9/11 were commemorated from coast to coast, from
religions services in metropolitan cathedrals to makeshift memorials in
In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called for a return to
the unity Americans experienced after the attacks.
"Let us remember the tragedy but also let us remember the triumph of
the American spirit," said Arnold Schwarzenegger.