The Nation Remembers September 11

Led by bagpipes and drums, solemn processions marched through the streets of New York this morning, while at the Pentagon and in the Pennsylvania countryside, solemn ceremonies honored those who lost their lives one year ago.

Five bagpipe processions, composed of members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), New York City Police Department (NYPD), Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), New York City Correction Department (NYDOC), New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) and the New York Sate Court Officers (NYSCA), left the five borroughs of New York and arrived at the World Trade Center site just after 8:00 a.m., to symbolize the call to service that uniformed officers made on September 11th, 2001.

"New Yorkers owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our uniform services," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "This solemn procession represents a call to duty that saved so many, yet cost so much."

New Yorkers lined the route to show their support for the over 400 members of the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and court officers who died on September 11th and, along with the corrections officers and sanitation workers, led the most successful evacuation and clean-up in history leading more than 25,000 people to safety.

The ceremonies at Ground Zero included a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., to commemorate the instant the first plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower. New York Gov. George Pataki then read the Gettysburg Address.

Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani began reading aloud the names of the 2,801 victims of the terrorist attacks. At 9:03 a.m., bells chimed to commemorate the second plane smashing into the South Tower. The bells rang again at 9:59 a.m., the time when the South Tower collapsed. At 10:29 a.m., the bells rang for a final time in New York and at churches across the city, marking the collapse of the North Tower.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, family members of the victims placed roses in vases as part of the permanent trade center memorial.

Later today, President George Bush and first lady Laura Bush will lay a wreath at the site and visit with the victims' family members. Bush also plans a visit to Shanksville, Pa., to meet with the families of the victims of Flight 93.

The memorial service for the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93, "A Time for Honor and Hope," began at 9:30 a.m. At 10:06 a.m., the time of the plane crash, a bell tolled 40 times as names of the victims are read.

Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, who was governor of Pennsylvania on September 11, is the keynote speaker of the event. Gov. Mark Schweiker, who was appointed to take Ridge's place, also made remarks.

At the Pentagon, the day was commemorated by prayer and song, as hundreds gathered today for a ceremony that started at 9:30 a.m. "United in Freedom" honored the 184 people - including the passengers of American Airlines Flight 77 - killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Participants observed a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m., the time the plane slammed into the Pentagon.

At his first stop of the day, Bush told the crowd gathered at the Pentagon, that the people who died on September 11 "did not die in vain."

"Their loss," Bush said, "has moved a nation to action. What happened to our nation on a September day set in motion the first great struggle in a new century."

Crews recently completed the rebuilding of 2 million square feet of damaged office space at the Pentagon, finishing a month ahead of schedule.

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