Holds 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
By Steve Hall
September 9, 2011 - Members of the North American
Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command came
out in droves to attend a solemn remembrance ceremony in
honor of those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001,
The ceremony, held at the NORAD and USNORTHCOM 9/11
Memorial, marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks that
sparked a decade-long war in Afghanistan and was the
catalyst for the creation of USNORTHCOM.
Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass, USNORTHCOM deputy commander,
and Don Addy, National Homeland Defense Foundation
president, laid a wreath at the memorial after speaking
to the assembled NORAD and USNORTHCOM members.
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September
11, September 11th or 9/11) were a series of four
coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in
New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11,
On that morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours.
crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in
Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93,
crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after
passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the
hijacker's intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died
in the attacks.
quickly fell on al-Qaeda, and in 2004, the group's leader Osama
bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed
responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited
U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi
Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks.
The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War
on Terror, invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had
harbored al-Qaeda members. Many countries strengthened their
anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers.
In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was found and
destruction caused serious damage to the economy of Lower
Manhattan. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed
in May 2002. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is
scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. Adjacent to the
memorial the 1,776 feet (541 m) One World Trade Center is
estimated for completion by 2013.
The Pentagon was
repaired within a year, and the Pentagon Memorial opened, adjacent to
the building, in 2008. Ground was broken for the Flight 93 National
Memorial in November 2009, and the memorial was formally dedicated on
September 10, 2011.
?It?s been 10
years since the fateful day of 9/11 where nearly 3,000 people from 83
nations died on American soil,? said Grass. ?On that tragic day the
terrorists said they were attacking the United States and our way of
life. Obviously, they did not understand who we are or the values we
hold dear. The cowardly actions of AQ and their supporters were meant to
break our will. They thought it would cause us to wilt. Instead, it
hardened our resolve and renewed our commitment to take the fight to the
everyone has their own memories of 9/11, and that it was important to
hold onto those memories. ?We can never allow those memories to fade
with time,? he said. ?Today is a day to reaffirm our commitment and to
rededicate ourselves to continue the fight and defend our homeland and
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