US to mark 9/11 attacks, no politician participates
NEW YORKNew Yorkers are set to mark the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at a ceremony at Ground Zero.
The ceremony will last for three hours and 14 minutes, but for the first time, no politicians will make any speeches at the lower Manhattan site, according to a decision issued by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation.
As in past years, however, the names of the 2,983 victims of the 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on Flight 93, as well as victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, will be read. Powerful lights will be trained on the heavens from two locations in lower Manhattan, as in past years, as a tribute to the lost. They will be lit at sunset and fade away at dawn on Sept. 12.
Obama visits memorial in Pentagon, service members
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will gather today on the White House lawn for a moment of silence. Afterwards, they will attend a memorial at the Pentagon. In the afternoon, Obama will visit wounded service members and their families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The foundation’s decision to exclude politicians from ceremonies came after a feud between them and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over financing. The disagreement has stopped construction of the $1 billion Ground Zero museum. Overall site redevelopment costs have grown to nearly $15 billion, up from $11 billion in 2008, according to a recent project audit, Reuters reported.
But for many of the families of 9/11 victims and ailing Ground Zero workers, the redevelopment disputes are a disheartening sideshow to the rising loss of human lives.