At Pentagon, smiles mix with tears for 9/11 victims

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“The wounds are still present, emotions are still raw,” he said. “But the entire country found inspiration, resistance and resolve.”

The events in New York, Washington and outside Shanksville, Pa., where a fourth hijacked plane was brought down by passengers and crew, were carried out amid high security, after federal officials reportedly received a tip about a possible car-bomb plot.

The commemoration at the Pentagon was just one of several events that took place across the region.

In the District, Mayor Vincent. C. Gray participated in a Day of Service at Freedom Plaza, outside city hall and just blocks from the White House. The event was co-sponsored by the 9/11 Families group.

An afternoon 9/11 Unity Walk drew hundreds of people of all faiths to the Washington Hebrew Congregation, where Rabbi Bruce Lustig told the crowd that the area has a strong interfaith bond among its many religious groups.

“The terrorists changed America on 9/11, but only we would determine how,” he said. “We can choose hope over fear, light over darkness.”

Events scheduled for the Washington National Cathedral had to be moved because of damage from the recent earthquake.

At the Newseum, visitors lined the sidewalks outside the journalism museum to see the front pages of newspapers 10 years later. The Chicago Tribune ran the headline “We remember,” with a photograph of the smoldering New York site from Sept. 12, 2001. The front page from the Arizona Republic featured memories from readers summed up in six words, such as: “Angry that they changed my life.”

A candlelight service was scheduled for Sunday night at the First Baptist Church of the City in Northwest, to commemorate the lives of D.C. residents, students, teachers and chaperones killed in the attacks. It also highlighted the service and commitment of first responders.

In addition, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History hosted a ceremony with the Transportation Security Administration.

In Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley was scheduled to attend a dedication ceremony at the still-under-construction 9/11 Memorial of Maryland.

In Virginia, a memorial stair climb was held at the SunTrust Bank building, in Richmond. And hundreds participated in a Freedom Walk at Arlington National Cemetery to support military families.

“When you walk in here, you realize each headstone has its story,” said Vivian Dietrich of Northern Virginia, who helped organize the walk and whose husband survived the Pentagon attack.

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