WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – Name-reading, wreath-laying and other tributes were held Wednesday at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa. to mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
At the Pentagon Sept. 11 memorial in Arlington, Va., victims’ families, attack survivors and military officials laid a wreath
and held a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. to mark the moment that Flight 77 hit the building.
Many wore red, white and blue striped ribbons, and some cried as the president spoke.
“Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been,” President Barack Obama said.
Obama began the day with a somber remembrance at the White House. Along with first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden, Obama stood on the South Lawn to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
In Pennsylvania, the families of the passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93 recalled their loved ones as heroes who made history with unselfish and quick actions.
“In a period of 22 minutes, our loved ones made history,” said Gordon Felt, the president of the Families of Flight 93, whose brother, Edward, was among the 33 passengers and seven crew members aboard the hijacked plane on Sept. 11, 2001.
Families of those aboard the plane, along with nearly 200 more people, read the names aloud and bells tolled, as they marked the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Flight 93 was traveling from Newark to San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, when it was hijacked with the likely goal of crashing it into the White House or Capitol.
As passenger Todd Beamer issued the rallying cry “Let’s roll,” he and several fellow passengers rushed down the airliner’s aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers after learning of the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The 9/11 Commission concluded that the hijackers downed the plane – the only one of four hijacked that day that did not take a life on the ground – as the hostages revolted.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recalled the sacrifice the passengers made.
“We never know when we’ll be called to lay down our lives for others,” she said, speaking of the bravery of passengers and crew who fought back against the hijackers.
Visitors to the park have left more than 35,000 tributes at the site, and they have been collected as part of an archival collection.
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