Obama leads tributes for 9/11 victims | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, September 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, September 11, 2009

Obama leads tributes for 9/11 victims

US President Barack Obama led a moment of silence yesterday to mark the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2001 when 3,000 people perished in the world's deadliest terror strike.
At exactly 8:46 am (1246 GMT) when the first plane piloted by al-Qaeda hijackers hit the North tower of the World Trade Center, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stood with heads bowed outside the White House.
On a rain-swept day so different than that crisp September morning eight years ago, ceremonies were also being held in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field where a fourth plane crashed short of its target.
It was the first time that Obama, who was driving to work as a state senator in Illinois when he learned of the attacks on the radio, had led the national remembrance ceremonies as president.
At New York's Ground Zero, all that is left of the two huge towers that were brought down by fuel-laden planes, volunteers began reading the names of the 2,752 people killed in the strike at the heart of US might.
Obama stepped out in front of the South Portico of the White House, with First Lady Michelle Obama, who was wearing a black dress.
After three chimes played by a US Marine in ceremonial dress, the first couple bowed their heads and observed the moment of silence, joined by around 150 members of the White House staff.
Obama raised his head, and put his hand over his heart as a Marine bugler played a haunting rendition of Taps, the military lament played over soldiers' graves.
For hours before the ceremony, rain had sluiced Washington, but moments before Obama and the First Lady appeared the rain tapered off and they were able to stand bare-headed.
As soon as they returned to the White House, the deluged resumed.
The President was later to deliver remarks and lay a wreath at the Pentagon, where another hijacked airliner crashed, on a day which sent shock waves around the world and left a political legacy Obama is still trying to master.
One US cable news network, MSNBC, marked the anniversary by replaying the terrifying minute-by-minute video of the first moment of the attacks, when planes hit the world Trade Center.

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