Obama leads remembrance of 9/11

September 12, 2011

By Dave Boyer-The Washington Times

On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President 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 nation’s capital.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama began the day by joining former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, at a reflecting pool at the site of the north tower of the 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, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” 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. A 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 “meets the moment.”

In an interview taped earlier, Mr. Obama reflected on the meaning of the anniversary by telling NBC News, “America came through this thing in a way that was consistent with our character.”

“We’ve made mistakes,” Mr. Obama said. “Some things haven’t happened as quickly as they needed to. But overall, we took the fight to al Qaeda; we preserved our values; we preserved our character.”

Mr. Bush, who was commander in chief on the day America was attacked, read a letter from President Lincoln in 1864 to a mother who lost sons in the Civil War.

“I 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,” the letter said.

While Mr. Obama stood with his predecessor on Sunday, he made clear in his weekend radio address that he’s determined to follow a different path than Mr. Bush in fighting terrorism.

“They wanted to draw us in to endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation,” Mr. Obama said. “But even as we put relentless pressure on al Qaeda, we’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.”

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.

“When it comes to family gatherings, that’s when the hurt comes in,” she said. “The first Thanksgiving all we did was cry. We couldn’t even eat.”

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/11/obama-bush-mark-911-ground-zero/



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