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America pauses to honor, remember 9/11 victims

Published: Tue, September 11, 2012 @ 10:03 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans paused again Tuesday to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks with familiar ceremony, but also a sense that it's time to move forward after a decade of remembrance.

As in past years, thousands gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., to read the names of nearly 3,000 victims killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history. President Barack Obama attended the Pentagon memorial, and Vice President Joe Biden was to speak in Pennsylvania.

But many felt that last year's 10th anniversary was an emotional turning point for public mourning of the attacks. For the first time, elected officials weren't speaking at the ceremony, which often allowed them a solemn turn in the spotlight, but raised questions about the public and private Sept. 11.

"I feel much more relaxed" this year, said Jane Pollicino, who came to ground zero Tuesday morning to remember her husband, who was killed at the trade center. "After the ninth anniversary, that next day, you started building up to the 10th year. This feels a lot different, in that regard. It's another anniversary that we can commemorate in a calmer way, without that 10-year pressure."

As bagpipes played at the year-old Sept. 11 memorial in New York, family clutching balloons, flowers and photos of their loved ones bowed their heads in silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment that the first hijacked jetliner crashed into the trade center's north tower. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama observed the moment in a ceremony on the White House's south lawn. Victims' families in New York began the solemn, familiar ritual of tearfully reading the names of nearly 3,000 killed, with personal messages to their lost loved ones.

"Rick, can you hear your name as the roll is called again? On this sacred ground where your dust settled?" said Richard Blood, whose son, Richard Middleton Blood, Jr., died in the trade center's south tower. "If only those who hear your name could know what a loving son and beautiful person you grew to be. I love you, son, and miss you terribly."

Thousands had attended the ceremony in New York in previous years, including last year's milestone 10th anniversary. Fewer than 500 family members had gathered by Tuesday morning, reading their loved ones' names on the Sept. 11 memorial, built over the twin towers' footprints.

Commuters rushed out of the subway and fewer police barricades were in place than in past years in the lower Manhattan neighborhood surrounding ground zero.

Families had a mixed reaction to the changing ceremony, which kept politicians away from the microphone in New York for the first time.

Charles G. Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, was killed at the trade center, said: "We've gone past that deep, collective public grief" and said it was appropriate that politicians no longer speak.

But Pollicino said it's important that politicians still attend the ceremony.

"There's something missing if they're not here at all," she said. "Now, all of a sudden, it's `for the families.' This happened to our country - it didn't happen only to me."

And Joe Torres, who put in 16-hour days in the "pit" in the days after the attacks, cleaning up tons of debris, said another year has changed nothing for him.

"The 11th year, for me, it's the same as if it happened yesterday. It could be 50 years from now, and to me, it'll be just as important as year one, or year five or year ten."


1LtMacGowan(695 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago


I'm supporting the American Atheist's lawsuit against the display of the so called "9/11 Cross" while any and all other beliefs/non beliefs are being blocked.

E.g. Muslim Mosque, and Atheist bill boards.

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2redeye1(5414 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

This cross was from the towers . God make it, to remind us that he is watching. It was a major symbol when this all happen. I'm so freakin tired of these small groups bi%Ch!n about things that have been around 200 years.

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3ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(251 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

The country was built with religon in mind. Atheists are more than welcome to leave.

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4redeye1(5414 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Blah I have told you before, if idiot Bill Clinton had done his job when he was in the WH . 9/11 probably wouldn't have happen. But he listen to Hillary the bleeding heart b!%ch who didn't want to kill Osama on their watch . So quit blaming Bush I know that 's your party action when they screw up. Find someone else tpo blame.

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5LtMacGowan(695 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

well shutyourface, a mosque should just be a building to you, and an atheist billboard should just be a billboard but both are not allowed on ground zero apparently

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6IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

9-11. The greatest national security FAILURE in US history and it was brought to us by the Republicon Party. You Neo-Cons can't say that this was a surprise since the terrorists tried to knock the buildings down once before when Clinton was in office. The repubs were too busy focusing on more important things, like tax breaks for those "job creators."

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7DSquared(1617 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

All you libs and atheists just can't deal with God, Country and Patriotism. Just like sunlight to a vampire!

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8DSquared(1617 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Remember Clinton refused to take out Bin Laden in 1999 and again after the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. The "Gutless Wonder" didn't want any part of this issue during his Presidency. ODumbo is cut from the same cloth. Paralyzed by fear. I hear they both squat to pee!

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9ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(251 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

vinytalk- "Boy is that unamerican and ungodly like. All should be welcome and loved ."

Feel free to be first on the boat outta here.

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