(AP) – New York has again paused to listen to the names of the more than 2,700 people who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
With gray skies and rain providing a grim backdrop, relatives of World Trade Center victims assembled at a lower Manhattan park to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks.
As the names echoed, family members marched into the pit at ground zero to remember their relatives whose lives ended.
The first of four moments of silence was observed at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time — the moment the first plane struck the north tower.
A second moment of silence followed exactly 17 minutes later, coinciding with the time when the south tower was struck.
At 8:46 this morning, members of the White House staff, from Cabinet members to janitors, fell silent.
They, along with the president, marked the moment a jetliner slammed into the World Trade Center six years ago.
Among those crowding onto the White House lawn was former chief of staff Andrew Card, the man who broke the news to Bush on the day of the attacks.
The president didn’t speak. The Marine band, stationed behind him on the South Portico, played “God Bless America.” And then he and the first lady walked inside. The ceremony has been repeated every year since the attacks.
The president began the day at a prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The Reverend Luis Leon said religious faiths have their differences, but they all strive for peace, love and justice.
More than 150 people gathered in a muddy field in Pennsylvania to remember the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93.
The crowd listened to a reading of the names of the 40 people who died on board the hijacked flight six years ago. It was the only plane during the attacks that did not reach its intended target, believed to be in Washington D.C.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff made an appearance at the ceremony, which began a little before 10 a.m. Eastern time, shortly before the time the airliner nose-dived into the ground.
The sister of Colleen Fraser, who was on board the flight headed for San Francisco, says she’s glad one of her family members got to be one of the heroes on board the flight. Investigators believe the hijackers crashed the plane into a field near Shanksville as passengers rushed the cockpit.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)