Nation marks 7th anniversary of terror attacks

NEW YORK (AP) -- From New York's ground zero to the Pentagon and a rural field in Pennsylvania, the nation is pausing to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Relatives of victims killed at the World Trade Center have gathered for a ceremony that's included the reading of victims' names and moments of silence at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. Eastern time, when two hijacked jets slammed into the twin towers seven years ago. Later today, Barack Obama and John McCain are due to pay silent respects at the site.

In Arlington, Virginia, a ceremony is being held to dedicate the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. The 2-acre park consists primarily of 184 benches, each bearing a victim's name.

At least 200 people have gathered at an observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 came down after passengers apparently stormed the cockpit to prevent terrorists from using the plane as a weapon.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Hundreds gather in Pa. field to honor Flight 93

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Hundreds of people including Republican presidential nominee John McCain have been remembering the 40 passengers and crew killed seven years ago when United Flight 93 crashed into a hilly field in western Pennsylvania.

Grieving family members and dignitaries listened as the names of all 40 victims were read. The crowd sat in front of a chain-link fence covered in flags and other mementos that serves as a temporary memorial.

Investigators believe some of the passengers and crew stormed the cockpit, possibly foiling the hijackers' plans to crash the jet into the U.S. Capitol. McCain told the crowd that those on the flight might have saved his life that day.

Gordon Felt, whose brother was a passenger on the flight, says the passengers and crew should be remembered for not allowing themselves to become "pawns."

McCain and others laid wreaths at the foot of two flagpoles and a large wooden cross. A permanent memorial is expected to open at the site on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


U.S. troops in Afghanistan mark 9/11

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been marking 9/11 with ceremonies at bases around the country.

At Camp Eggers in the capital, Kabul, Major General Robert Cone told those gathered that the terrorism that struck the U.S. seven years ago remains "a danger to the entire world." He noted that since 9/11, terrorists have struck in London, Russia and Bali, Indonesia. He called those attacks "reminders that the threat of terrorism is real."

Colonel Cody Smith spoke in personal terms. He said the thought of 9/11 victims dying "in terror of seeing the fire" drives him to fight "so that freedom reigns and terror does not."

The leadership of the al-Qaida network, including Osama bin Laden, is believed to be in the lawless tribal belt on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The ceremonies come on a day when military officials reported the death of two U.S. soldiers in eastern Afghanistan. The deaths bring this year's death toll to 113, making it the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Pentagon Memorial features a bench for each victim

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says future generations won't "directly feel the heat, smell the smoke or know the horror" of 9/11, but the Pentagon Memorial will tell the story.

The memorial is made up of 184 benches each over a small reflecting pool. They represent each life lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the U.S. military headquarters. Each bench is dedicated to an individual victim, and they are organized according to the victims' ages, moving from 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg to 71-year-old John Yamnicky.

At night, the benches will glow with light. Trees and trickling water also dot the nearly two-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Pentagon.

Gates says while future visitors won't know what September 11th, 2001 was like, they will know "that we claim this land."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Bush marks Sept. 11 with moment of silence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Thursday that history will look back at America's response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and conclude that "we did not tire, we did not falter and we did not fail."

Bush marked the seventh anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil with a moment of silence at the White House at 8:46 a.m. EDT, precisely the moment when terrorists crashed a hijacked airliner into the World Trade Center in New York. A second plane struck the trade center shortly thereafter. Another was flown into the Pentagon and still another crashed in a field at Shanksville, Pa.

At the dedication of a memorial at the Pentagon honoring those who died there, Bush said the terrorists could not break the resolve of the U.S. armed forces.

He said that "since 9/11, our troops have taken the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home." Bush added: "Thanks to the brave men and women, and all those who work to keep us safe, there has not been another attack on our soil in 2,557 days."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Moments of silence mark 9/11 terrorist attacks

NEW YORK (AP) -- Relatives of victims killed at the World Trade Center are observing moments of silence to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The ceremony at ground zero included moments of silence at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. -- the times that two hijacked jets slammed into the twin towers. Two more moments of silence were to be held at the times the towers fell.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the ceremony by telling the tearful audience: "Today marks the seventh anniversay of the day our world was broken."

Other ceremonies are being held throughout the day around the country, including in Washington and in Pennsylvania. Barack Obama and John McCain are due at ground zero to pay silent respects.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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