- Just-forged Israel-Hamas cease-fire ends in rocket fire
- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
At Pentagon, smiles mix with tears for 9/11 victims
Question of the Day
The ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon began long before the more than 1,000 survivors, family members and others would arrive, when organizers in the early dawn unfurled a U.S. flag next to the spot where the hijacked plane hit the building.
“Lives ended in this place, dreams were shattered, futures were instantly altered and hopes tragically dashed,” said Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, standing a short distance from where a decade ago a flag hung next to the gaping, charred hole left by American Airlines Flight 77. Terrorists “could bring down our walls but they could not bring down America.”
The ceremony began at 9:30 a.m. with a flag presentation, the singing of the national anthem and a prayer, then a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. — the exact time the hijacked plane hit the southwestern facade of the Pentagon, killing 184 people.
The only sounds heard were the quiet clicks of camera shutters and the distant rumble of a departing airplane.
The warm, late-summer morning was full of tears, embraces and proud smiles for the roughly 1,350 family members, friends and survivors who gathered beside the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
“This lets families know that those lives were of value, whether they were on the plane or in the building,” said Shirley Winston, a Florida visitor who was wearing a T-shirt with a photograph of her sister-in-law and Pentagon attack victim Angelene C. Carter.
Other guests also wore items to honor a loved one lost in the smoke and fire, including red-white-and-blue ribbons and pins bearing photographs of the deceased.
Dressed in a sleeveless black sheath, Lisa Dolan wore her husband Capt. Robert E. Dolan Jr.’s C lass of 1981 Naval Academy ring around her neck, the only item found that belonged to the father of two.
Mrs. Dolan said she comes to the memorial every year and that this year’s ceremony of placing a wreath on each victim’s memorial bench brought special meaning.
“Everyone has a family and a special story to tell,” she said.
Mrs. Dolan also said that keeping the memories alive is important for children too young to know about the tragic day.
Adm. Mullen was joined by Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, who each talked about the importance of remembering those who gave their lives and about the men and women inspired to join the military after the attacks.
“It’s hard to come back,” Mr. Biden said. “My prayer for you 10 years later is that when you think of them, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. … Your presence gives hope to thousands of Americans trying to come to grips with this. Three thousand lives lost … inspired 3 million to put on a uniform.”
President Obama attended morning ceremonies in New York where two other hijacked planes hit the twin World Trade Center towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. He was scheduled to attend an event Sunday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Mr. Panetta asked those at the Pentagon to recall 10 years ago, when people were scrambling to safety or rescuing the wounded.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Higher Ground: 'Christian' Grey
- Priest abuse survivors group marks milestone
- Teen girl exorcised by priest, sends demonic text messages in response
- Obama nominates Rabbi David Saperstein as ambassador for religious freedom
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- EDITORIAL: For too many gays, 'tolerance' is a one-way street
- PRUDEN: Cooling the manufactured impeachment panic
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- Feds accept boredom, lack of work as excuses for surfing porn on clock
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world