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Obama: A Story of Resilience

In his final speech in Washington on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the president said that while America took a painful blow, it emerged stronger than ever before. Plus, full coverage.

09.12.11 3:45 AM ET

Obama: A Story of Resilience
Sept. 11 2011, 11:55 PM EDT

It’s been a long, solemn day for President Obama. The decade, on the other hand, has been "a story of American resilience." In his final speech of the evening in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Obama said that despite the problems of the past 10 years, America is stronger. He said, “It will be said that we kept that faith. That we took a painful blow, and emerged stronger than ever before.” He also reminded Americans that it’s worth remembering what has not changed since the attacks, specifically the nation’s character. He also referenced some of the debates over policy that many have found frustrating in recent months, saying, “but it is precisely the rigor of these debates, and our ability to resolve them in a way that honors our values, that is a measure of our strength.”

Obama Visits the Pentagon
Sept. 11, 2011 4:30 PM EDT

President Obama visited the Pentagon to commemorate those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. Obama and his wife went to the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon which was built in the path of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the building. Obama also visited New York City and Shanksville, Pa. earlier in the day.

Biden: 'I Know What It's Like'
Sept. 11, 2011 3:00 PM EDT

“I know what it’s like to receive that call out of the blue that the dearest thing in your life is gone," Vice President Joseph Biden told a crowd that gathered at the Pentagon Sunday to remember those who died when Flight 77 crashed into the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. Biden was referring to the heartbreaking call he got when his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car crash decades ago. “No memorial, no ceremony, no words will ever fill the void left in your hearts by their loss,” Biden said. “My prayer for you is that 10 years later, when you think of them,” he said, “that it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.”

Names Ring Out at Ground Zero
Sept. 11, 2011 10:00 AM EDT

Three hundred and thirty-four family members read the names of their loved ones who were killed 10 years ago today. President Barack Obama read from Psalm 46 and former president George W. Bush evoked Abraham Lincoln to console the victim's families. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma then played a Bach sarabande, 3,652 days after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks at Ground Zero in New York. At 8:46 a.m. EDT, the time when the first plane hit the North Tower, 87,648 hours had gone by, or 5,258,880 minutes, 315,532,800 seconds. A total of 2,749 died at Ground Zero. In Washington and in Pennsylvania, 224 perished.

Threats Posted on White House Facebook Page
Sept. 11, 2011 12:43 PM EDT

Threatening messages have been posted on the Facebook page of the White House. "We'll come back U.S.A. One day only 11/9/2011," says one message, featuring a photo of Osama bin Laden. "We'll come to u white house sooooooooooon," says another." "We'll come back 11/9/2011 to kill u all," a third posting reads. Meanwhile, a White House counterterrorism adviser says the Obama administration is taking "very seriously" the threat of a possible Qaeda plot on Sunday's 9/11 anniversary. John Brennan told Fox News Sunday that investigators are trying to piece together the details of an intelligence tip on a possible car-bomb attack that was announced Wednesday. But officials have said they've found no evidence that any of the three suspects have sneaked into the country.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  U.S. President Barack Obama (2R) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) hug people during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of 2,753 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.  (Photo by David Handschuh-Pool/Getty Images)

David Handschuh / Getty Images

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hug mourners during the 10th anniversary ceremonies of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site.

America Asked to Observe Silence At 1 p.m. Eastern Time
Sept. 11, 2011 12:15 PM EDT

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is asking all Americans to observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m. Eastern time to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Americans are asked to "cease all regular activity for one minute to reflect on the lives lost and those affected by the tragedies of 9/11." Officials also notified the public that sirens may ring out around New York City at the time.

At Last, a Permanent Memorial for Families
Sept. 11, 2011 11:10 AM EDT

Family members of 9/11 victims flocked to find the names of their loved ones on the memorial at Ground Zero that has finally opened, 10 years after the World Trade Center attacks. Waterfalls cascade into two giant reflecting pools where the towers once stood, with the victims' names carved into bronze parapets that guard the ponds.

Shanksville Marks 9/11
Sept. 11, 2011 1:08 PM EDT

President Barack Obama quietly laid a wreath at the marbled Wall of Names at Shanksville, Pa., marking those who were killed aborad United Flight 93. During the ceremony, a man called out: "Thanks for getting bin Laden!" Thousands of family members and friends of the 40 passengers and crew killed gathered for a second day at the newly dedicated Flight 93 Memorial, the nation's newest national park.

Former Mayor Giuliani Reads from Bible
Sept. 11, 2011 10:45 AM EDT

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani read a famous verse from Ecclesiastes. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal ... a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." Singer Paul Simon then performed "The Sound of Silence."

Gov. Christie Reads ‘Turn Again to Life’
Sept. 11, 2011 10:30 AM EDT

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie read Mary Lee Hall's "Turn Again to Life," which was the first text read at Princess Diana's funeral. "If I should die and leave you here a while, be not like others sore undone, who keep long vigil by the silent dust. For my sake turn again to life and smile, nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine. Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine and I perchance may therein comfort you."

Former Gov. Pataki Reads Poem
Sept. 11, 2011 10:20 AM EDT

Former New York governor George Pataki read a poem written about 9/11 by the former United States poet laureate, Billy Collins, entitled "The Names." "Names lifted from a hat, or balanced on the tip of the tongue. Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory. So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart."

Copyright Joel Meyerowitz, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery

Gov. Cuomo Reads FDR Speech
Sept. 11, 2001 10:15 AM EDT

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo read portions of Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union speech on given on Jan. 6, 1941. "The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his and her own way—everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want—everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear—anywhere in the world." Singer James Taylor then performed "Close Your Eyes."

Ground Zero Marks Ten Years
Sept. 11, 2011 8:55 AM EDT

The 10th anniversary marks the official opening of the National September 11 Memorial—twin reflecting pools that sit where the two towers once stood—and a 9/11 museum is scheduled to open at the World Trade Center site next September. Six moments of silence will be observed: twice to mark the times each plane hit the towers, twice to mark when the towers fell, and twice to mark when the planes crashed into the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. Watch the live video here.

Downtown New York Thriving 10 Years Later
Sept. 11, 2011 8:10 AM EDT

Downtown Manhattan is resurgent 10 years after the 9/11 attacks. The residential population has doubled; two skyscrapers are rising at ground zero, due to open in 2013; the national memorial is open. But the cost of rebuilding the trade center and surrounding areas run to $24 billion. One World Trade Center alone cost $3.2 billion to build. Security concerns contributed to the building’s being redesigned three times in the last 10 years. Yet, after years of delays, the progress of the rebuilding has given hope to many. "Things are actually coming along very well," said John H. Mollenkopf, director of the City of University of New York's Center for Urban Research.

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9/11 Marked Worldwide
Sept. 11, 2011 8:05 AM EDT

People around the world are remembering the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago. From Australia to France, Japan to Malaysia, families and officials gathered to pay their respects to the victims who worked at the World Trade Center, employed by companies all over the globe. In Tokyo, mourners stood before a piece of steel from ground zero, commemorating 23 bank employees were died that day. A mother in Malaysia remembered her son.

Afghan Truck Bomb Hits U.S. Troops
Sept. 11, 2011 8:03 AM EDT

Two Afghan civilians were killed and some 80 U.S. soldiers were injured when a suicide truck bomber rammed into a military base in the eastern province of Wardak in Afghanistan. NATO said none of the injuries are life-threatening. Saturday's attacks came on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assault.

Security Increase In Washington, New York
Sept. 11, 2011 8:00 AM EDT

Officials at Dulles International Airport evacuated an area around a cargo container and several gates in one of the concourses for several hours Saturday evening after finding a suspicious item. The item was found on Saturday afternoon and members of the Virginia state explosive ordinance disposal team are investigating the situation, according to a spokesman. Two outbound flights were delayed as a result of the search. But there have been no arrests, and investigators said it is unclear whether the terror threat announced earlier in the week is real. Authorities said Saturday that there was no evidence to support an earlier intelligence tip that three suspected terrorists entered the U.S. to plan a car-bomb attack on the 10th anniversary. A sweeping security effort is in effect in New York, with the plans stretched back at least to May, when a notebook filled with Osama bin Laden’s musings about a possible terror strike on the anniversary of the attacks was discovered after he was killed.

U.S. Dedicates Flight 93 National Memorial
Sept. 11, 2011 7:30 AM EDT

Presidents Bush and Clinton and Vice President Biden were joined by thousands in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for the first Sept. 11th memorial. A several-mile-long line of cars, trucks and motorcycles moved toward the muddy field where Flight 93 crashed, killing the 40 passengers who tried to seize control of the plane from the four terrorists.

The audience applauded when Clinton thanked Bush and President Obama “for keeping us from being attacked again” and again when Clinton announced he and House Speaker John Boehner would be working together to raise $10 million for the memorial in Shanksville. But the overall theme of Saturday’s memorial was to honor those who perished there. “With almost no time to decide, they gave the entire country an incalculable gift,” Clinton said. “They saved the Capitol from attack, they saved God knows how many lives, and they spared the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government.”

Family members of the Flight 93 victims will hold a private memorial on Monday, when the victims’ remains will be buried.