America Pauses To Remember 9/11

People around the world are remembering the events of that day

It was five years ago, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.

Secretary of State Colin Powell was in South America. Congressional Republicans were getting ready to push for more tax cuts.

Elizabeth Dole was expected to announce her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Basketball was buzzing with news that Michael Jordan had all but confirmed he would return as a player.

But on the morning of Sept. 11, everything changed.

Two hijacked jetliners crashed into New York's World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall. A commandeered jetliner smashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in western Pennsylvania after the passengers rose up against the hijackers.

In all, nearly 3,000 people died in what was the worst single act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

And today, people around the world are remembering the events of that day.

From a pit where the World Trade Center once stood, to a field in Shanksville, Pa., all across America today, people will reflect on what happened Sept. 11.

In New York, people are observing four moments of silence, at 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29 a.m. EDT, the times when jetliners struck each of the twin towers, and when each tower fell. The ceremony at ground zero stopped for two moments of silence. Two more will follow.

Spouses and partners of the 2,749 people who died at the trade center are reading the names of the victims, paying special tribute to their loved one.

Family members held up signs reading "You will always be with us" and "Never forget." Sniffles and quiet sobs could be heard as the moments of silence were observed. Some people crossed themselves and wiped away tears.

Lee Hanson said he was going to spend the day remembering his granddaughter's smile. The 2 ˝ -year-old child was on the second plane that hit the World Trade Center. She was the youngest victim on Sept. 11.

Other memorials are planned, too. In Muncie, Ind., there will be a service at a funeral home that features a Sept. 11 garden with twin glass towers that light up at night.

President George W. Bush is starting his day in New York, before attending remembrances at the other crash sites: the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville.

He begins the day with a breakfast at a New York City firehouse near Ground Zero where the Twin Towers were knocked down by two of the hijacked jetliners. He'll observe moments of silence at 8:46 and 9:03 a.m. EDT, the times when the jets hit.

Later in the day, the president will be in Shanksville, where another of the hijacked planes slammed to the ground. And he'll lay a wreath at the Pentagon, which was also a target that day. Tonight he'll address the nation from the Oval Office.

Bush said he wishes he could somehow "make whole" the families still grieving, but he said the anniversary provides fresh resolve in trying to prevent terrorists from striking American again.

Bush said Sunday that he and his wife, Laura, faced the anniversary "with a heavy heart."

The president and first lady laid wreaths at Ground Zero in New York Sunday, attended a prayer service, then greeted firefighters.

Bush called the anniversary "a day of renewing resolve" and said he's vowed to never "forget the lessons of that day." He said there's "still an enemy out there who would like to inflict the same kind of damage again."

Remembering In Shanksville

Carol Fritz was just 10 years old when a hijacked United Airlines flight crashed into a field in Shanksville.

She didn't know anyone on the plane, and didn't understand everything that was happening back then, but said she had to come to Shanksville Monday so she could tell her children and grandchildren that, "I was here."

Flight 93 was hijacked after takeoff from Newark, N.J. It's believed the hijackers planned to crash the plane into the White House or Capitol and that passengers rushed the cockpit in an effort to stop them.

This content continues onto the next page...