NEW YORK (AP) — With the solemn toll of a bell and a moment of silence, the nation paused Thursday, Sept. 11, to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at the hallowed site just hours after President Obama promised to root out and destroy a new group of terrorists threatening the U.S.
Family and friends of those who died read the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Thelma Stuart, whose husband, Walwyn Wellington Stuart Jr., 28, was a Port Authority Police Department officer, said the nation should pray for its leaders, “that God will grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding on directing them on moving forward.”
In an address Wednesday, Obama said he would open a new military front in the Middle East — authorizing airstrikes inside Syria along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of “a steady, relentless effort” to root out Islamic State extremists.
The shadow of a renewed threat hung over the ceremony, where the sad roll call paused only four times: to mark the times when the first plane struck the World Trade Center, when the second plane struck, when the first tower fell and when the second tower fell.
Adriana Fiori, reading her father Paul’s name, wept. “You put me to bed 13 years ago not knowing it would be your last time,” she said. “I miss you so much, Daddy.”
Joanne Barbara, whose husband of 30 years, Gerard Barbara, was a FDNY captain who died, urged all to feel for not only the lost but “those who continue to suffer from the aftermath.”
“May God bless America, and may we never, never forget,” she said.
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