WASHINGTON (CBS 2/AP) — President Barack Obama is asking the country to observe the Sept. 11 anniversary as a day of “service and remembrance.” He says Americans should find a way to serve their fellow citizens and rekindle the spirit of unity and common purpose felt in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

Obama spoke at a White House news conference Friday, a day ahead of the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

He said Saturday will be a day to commemorate not only heartbreak, but also the “enduring values and resilient spirit” of America.

Obama is to attend a service at the Pentagon on Saturday while first lady Michelle Obama will appear with former first lady Laura Bush in Shanksville, Pa.

Here in New York, preparations are underway to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Crews have began putting barricades in place at ground zero for the commemoration ceremony.

Blocks away, at the site of the proposed mosque and Islamic center, police are setting up barricades as well – in preparation for planned demonstrations.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE