ByÂ Dave Boyer-The Washington Times
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, PresidentÂ Obama led the nation Sunday in a full day of commemoration by honoring the nearly 3,000 victims in services in New York City, Pennsylvania and the nationâ€™s capital.
The president and first ladyÂ Michelle Obama began the day by joining former PresidentÂ George W. Bush and his wife,Â Laura, at a reflecting pool at the site of the north tower of theÂ World Trade Center in Manhattan, where Islamist terrorists crashed two planes 10 years ago. They viewed the names of victims etched into a wall and greeted family members of those who perished.
Mr. Obama read Psalm 46, which begins, â€œGod is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.â€ An aide said the president chose the Scripture for its message of persevering through difficult challenges and emerging stronger.
The Obamas and Bushes stood behind bullet-proof protection at the event in New York as they listened to relatives of the victims reading the names of the dead in alphabetical order. AÂ White House aide said that the Obamas were particularly moved by the children of victims and that the president felt the design of the ground zero memorial â€œmeets the moment.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve made mistakes,â€Â Mr. Obama said. â€œSome things havenâ€™t happened as quickly as they needed to. But overall, we took the fight toÂ al Qaeda; we preserved our values; we preserved our character.â€
â€œI pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom,â€ the letter said.
â€œThey wanted to draw us in to endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation,â€Â Mr. Obama said. â€œBut even as we put relentless pressure onÂ al Qaeda, weâ€™re ending the war in Iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Because after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation building here at home.â€
Among the audience at ground zero was Chundera Epps, whose brother Christopher was on the 98th floor of the north tower when the plane hit.
â€œWhen it comes to family gatherings, thatâ€™s when the hurt comes in,â€ she said. â€œThe first Thanksgiving all we did was cry. We couldnâ€™t even eat.â€
To read more, visit:Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/11/obama-bush-mark-911-ground-zero/
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