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Pentagon holds moment of silence ahead of 9/11 anniversary

Marking 15 years since 9/11, families arrive at ground zero Marking 15 years since 9-11, ceremony keeps personal focus
Irmina Pasquarelli | 12 Settembre, 2016, 13:37

"Never forget" needs to be more than a hashtag.

And if you only heard the stories, you can not imagine.

Lindsay Pritchett, a teacher at MHS, said she shows a video from September 11, 2001, that has news reporters talking about the first plane's crash into one of the WTC towers when the second plane crashes into the other tower.

Until then, we were a bit naïve. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We miss every day.

There are many stories from that day, and many after. "That we do not let others divide us". We've never taken first responders for granted since.

"For them, it's not a current event, it's history", said Mitchell High School teacher Doug Thomas, "so we have to teach it that way".

And we did not know that they decided they were not going down without a fight.

On that fateful day, terrorists staged attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and were only prevented from completing another attack by the heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93.

He vowed to continue the fight against terrorism and praised Americans for their resiliency.

Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.

They entered those buildings and saved lives - some of them sacrificing their own in the process. The terrorists took over the planes and headed toward their targets in NY and Washington, DC.

"Sometimes, it's hard for me to come here in the morning", Steven told us. We look for ways to accentuate our differences.

And Flight 93 was not the only act of defiance. Shortly after noon on February 26, 1993, a bomb planted in a van parked in the center's underground parking garage exploded, killing six people and wounding more than 1,000, the 9/11 report said.

As the cameras surveyed the damage, some figures appeared on the roof, and, in a few minutes, an enormous American flag unfurled down the front of the building.

A tearful retired Army Col. Marilyn Wills recalls, "As we continued to crawl, one lady said she just couldn't make it". The attack killed 168 and injured more than 680. Americans united behind the effort to honor and remember the dead - particularly the heroes who died trying to save others. It's a feeling that hasn't gone away to this day. "And I'm not sure that I would understand as much as someone that has lost someone", he said, pausing and glancing around the memorial.

And we should be ashamed, just a bit.

In one of the most horrifying attacks against the United States, terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in a deadly series of blows that brought down the twin towers. They were trapped. The saga of how Wills was rescued is one of the more poignant moments in the film. "I don't teach about 9/11 to have my students memorize the events, but rather, I want them to analyze that tragedy and see the impact it has made on us, as a country, today". And if we stay true to those values, we'll uphold the legacy of those we've lost, and keep our nation strong and free'.

In the December 4, 1998, President's Daily Brief from the CIA, the agency told Clinton that "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks".

The Department of Homeland Security placed 130 United States inspectors at ports in major European, Asian and Muslim nations, as well as strategically-located ports, to inspect cargo for nuclear, chemical or biological weapons being smuggled into the US.

We are a beacon of hope for the huddled masses yearning to be free.

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