It's a day Americans will never forget. Hundreds of people from across the country gathered near the World Trade Center to commemorate the thousands of lives lost on 9/11. A memorial ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the attacks started with a chorus singing the "Star-Spangled Banner," followed by a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first hijacked plane struck the North Tower. Here, Mija Quigley of Princeton Junction, N.J., embraces the name of her son Patrick Quigley, who was one of the nearly 3,000 who perished in the 2001 attacks.
Video And Pics After The Jump
Via Washington Post
A day after he made the case for why the United States must sometimes still go to war, President Obama paid tribute on Wednesday to those who lost their lives 12 years ago in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2011, as well as the service members and civilians who died in the violent conflicts that followed.
”Today we remember not only those who died that September day. We pay solemn tribute to more than 6,700 patriots who have given their full measure since — military and civilians,” Obama said in a memorial service at the Pentagon. “We see their legacy in the friendships they forged, the attacks they prevented, the innocent lives they saved and in their comrades in Afghanistan who are completing the mission and who by the end of next year will have helped to end this war. “
The memorial marked the first anniversary of an attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy employees were killed. The attack led to strong and often partisan debate about the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
In his remarks, Obama also honored those who died in the Benghazi attack.
“We pray for all those who have stepped forward in those years of war: diplomats who serve in dangerous posts, as we saw this day last year in Benghazi; intelligence professionals, often unseen and unheralded who protect us in every way; our men and women in uniform who defend this country that we love,” he said.
On Tuesday night, Obama argued that the nation must be prepared to strike Syria for its alleged used of chemical weapons against civilians last month, even though the president said he would first give a diplomatic solution a chance to work. Obama has said he was elected in part to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On Wednesday morning, he began the memorial with a moment of silence outside the White House, and then took part in a wreath-laying and memorial event at the Pentagon, which was hit by one of the planes during the terrorist attacks.
“We pray for the memory of all those taken from us, nearly 3,000 innocent souls,” Obama said. “Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have
9/11 Anniversary Marked With Somber Tributes
Raw: Moment of Silence at the White House
9/11 - Remembering the victims 12 years later