- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

President Bush yesterday vowed never to forget "the cruelty of the murderers and the pain and anguish of the murdered," as America and the world marked the three-month commemoration of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"Every one of the innocents who died on September 11 was the most important person on Earth to somebody," Mr. Bush said in a White House ceremony. "Every death extinguished a world."
Mr. Bush's words in a ceremony that began at 8:48 a.m., the precise moment the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center were part of a worldwide remembrance of the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Seventy other nations also held ceremonies, and the commemoration reached to outer space, where American and Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station observed the occasion.
Among the victims of September 11 was best-selling author Barbara Olson, whose husband, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, promised justice during a somber ceremony at the Justice Department.
"We will never forget our loved ones who died or who were wounded on September 11," Mr. Olson said. "The heroes that inspired us on that day are so indelibly etched into our memories."
He added: "I say this for every American we will fight this evil as long and as patiently as it takes. We will prevail. We will comfort and care for those who have suffered. We will not forget."
Mr. Olson's wife was aboard a hijacked jetliner that slammed into the Pentagon, killing 189 persons. At the site yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld vowed retribution.
"In Afghanistan today, our fighting forces are teaching the al Qaeda terrorists a lesson, a lesson not taught in the camps that trained them to murder and to terrorize," he said.
"They're teaching them and all enemies of freedom that, as President Ronald Reagan put it, 'No weapon in any arsenal in the world is as formidable as the will and the moral courage of free men and free women.'"
One of those courageous men was Jeremy Glick, one of the passengers who is believed to have fought the hijackers aboard Flight 93, causing the jet to crash in a Pennsylvania field instead of its intended target, thought to be the White House or the Capitol. Mr. Glick's family members were among those in attendance in the White House during yesterday's presidential remembrance.
At Mr. Bush's request, the National Anthem was played at ceremonies in New York, Washington and other American cities. Other nations were encouraged to play their own national anthems.
From Albania to Zimbabwe, at U.S. embassies and elsewhere, similar events were meant to remind the world that more than 80 countries lost citizens in the destruction.
At the Pentagon, yesterday's memorial service began at 9:38 a.m. the exact moment that a hijacked Boeing 757 plowed into the building. The fiery crash killed 189 persons, including the passengers, the flight crew and scores of civilian and military personnel at the Defense Department.
Among the passengers killed was Mrs. Olson, 45, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who in 1995 became chief investigative counsel with the House Government Reform Committee. A frequent television commentator, Mrs. Olson authored "Hell to Pay," a biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was killed shortly after finishing "The Final Days," about the Clinton White House.
On September 11, she was aboard American Airlines Flight 77 out of Washington Dulles International Airport on her way to Los Angeles to make a television appearance. She had planned to leave earlier but stayed in Washington an extra day so she could have a birthday dinner with her husband the evening before his 61st birthday. The couple had been married for almost five years and lived in Great Falls.
Mr. Olson, who as solicitor general helped draft the anti-terrorism legislation now being used to track and prosecute those who helped the hijackers in the September 11 attacks, described the suicide strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as the work of "bigots, zealots and persecutors" who hate "America's freedom, tolerance and respect for all people."
At the White House yesterday, Mr. Bush spoke of a permanent memorial to the victims.
"In time, perhaps, we will mark a memory of September 11 in stone and metal, something we can show children as yet unborn to help them understand what happened on this minute and on this day," Mr. Bush said.
"But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we'll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day."
This article is based in part on wire service reports

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide