The victims of September 11 will be remembered “no matter how many years pass,” President Barack Obama said yesterday during one of the three main ceremonies marking the 11th anniversary of the attacks in which nearly 3,000 people were killed by airliners hijacked by Islamist militants.
Two of the passenger jets brought down the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Centre, another hit the Pentagon outside Washington and a fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania when passengers aboard that flight fought back against the hijackers.
Obama, speaking at the Pentagon where 184 people were killed, told victims’ families that the country shares their loss.
Speaking under clear blue skies that recalled the crisp morning of September 11, 2001, Obama said America’s fight is not with Islam but with al Qaeda, the group responsible for the attacks, and its allies. It is a line he has used several times since taking office promising to mend ties with the Muslim world.
Before the Pentagon ceremony, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. Afterward they stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, where the two paid their respects at the graves of military service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.