- Title: USA: 9/11 terrorist attacks are remembered at the Pentagon and in Shanksville
- Date: 12th September 2008
- Summary: ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 11, 2008) (REUTERS) VARIOUS AUDIENCE WAVING FLAG
- Embargoed: 27th September 2008 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAU4LB3ZFZT57H6JP7G8TIQ8IK
- Story Text: Americans mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. which left nearly 3,000 people dead.
In a sombre ceremony outside the Pentagon, President George W. Bush on Thursday (September 11) dedicated the first major September 11 memorial on the seventh anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
"Seven years ago at this hour a doomed airliner plunged from the sky, split the rock and steel of this building and changed our world forever," Bush said.
"The years that followed have seen justice delivered to evil men in battles fought in distant lands."
To the accompaniment of choral music, military members in dress uniform unveiled the 184 granite-and-steel benches in the memorial park that represent each of the victims killed by the al Qaeda attack on the Pentagon.
The ceremony was the last time that Bush, who steps down in January, will lead the nation in recalling the attacks that prompted him to declare a global war on terrorism that has defined his presidency.
"Since 9/11, our troops have taken the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home," said Bush, joined at the ceremony by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was in the Pentagon during the attack.
The memorial, by New York designers Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman, also features maple trees and light pools in a park of gravel. The benches are arranged according to the victims' ages.
The attack on the Pentagon took place at 9:37 a.m. local time (1337 GMT), when American Airlines Flight 77 from Washington's Dulles International Airport smashed into the walls of the U.S. military headquarters.
The crash killed 125 people in the Pentagon, along with the plane's 59 passengers and crew and the five hijackers.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain attended a ceremony in Shanksville, a town in south-western Pennsylvania where the fourth hijacked plane crashed into a field, killing 40 passengers and crew and four hijackers.
McCain will fly to New York and join Democratic rival Barack Obama for a visit to Ground Zero, where the two U.S. senators will both lay wreaths but not give speeches, aides said.
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