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In the News

Americans pause to remember day 'like none other'

September 11, 2013


President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and the White House staff remember those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.

By Sophia Rosenbaum, NBC News

At memorials and in schools, homes, and places of work across the country on Wednesday morning, Americans paused to remember those lost in the Sept. 11 attacks that shook the nation 12 years ago.

At 8:46 a.m. EST, crowds gathered at the site of the Twin Towers in New York City observed a moment of silence marking when the first plane crashed in the city’s downtown. President Barack Obama joined by wife Michelle and  Vice President Joe Biden also marked the moment on the lawn of the White House. 


Gene J. Puskar / AP

Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial participate in a sunset ceremony with a giant flag memorializing Flight 93 on Tuesday.

“The events of September the 11th, 2001, transformed our entire nation and touched each of our lives,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in leading Department of Justice staff members in a moment of silence.

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a letter to employees that the memories of the Sept. 11 attacks make the day “like none other,” and referenced the attacks on the American consulate in Libya a year ago.

“We pause to remember those we’ve lost and their families, and when we see their friends in the hall, we ask how they’re doing,” Kerry said in the letter. “My hope is that as we remember our fallen colleagues from both September 11s and all the other sad days, we never forget the reason we do what we do. And though we can’t inscribe all their names on a memorial, we also cannot forget the families and loved ones of those who serve and sacrifice in faraway places.”

Pipes and drums played at the memorial in New York after the moment of silence, before friends and family members of those who lost their lives read the names of the deceased.

On Tuesday, workers in Shanksville, Pa., broke ground on the Flight 93 National Memorial, beginning construction on the 6,800-square-foot visitor center that will tell the story of Flight 93. Four hijackers turned the plane toward Washington, D.C., likely targeting the U.S. Capitol building, before passengers and crew stormed the cockpit and tried to regain control. The plane crashed into a field and everyone on board was killed.

“Because of the quick and determined actions of the passengers and crew, Flight 93 was the only one of the four hijacked aircraft that failed to reach the terrorists’ intended target that day,” the National Park Service wrote on its website. “The passengers and crew showed unity, courage, and defiance in the face of adversity.”

Organizers announced Tuesday they had raised $40 million, which gave them the green light on the memorial for the 40 passengers and crew members killed. It will include a plaza, a wall of names, memorial groves and a field of honor. The names of the deceased will be read at an observance ceremony Wednesday at 10:03 a.m., when Flight 93 crashed.


John Moore / Getty Images

Ceremonies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa., mark 12 years since the attacks

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