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Remembering the Fifth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

Many people around the nation attended ceremonies or paused in remembrance of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The nation today marked five years since the 9/11 attacks. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day in 2001, when hijacked airliners flew into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Today, there were ceremonies at each site, with Americans of all stripes, from national leaders to loved ones of the lost. Gwen Ifill begins our coverage with the events of the day.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    At the World Trade Center site, ground zero, thousands of mourners gathered today in the bright morning sunlight. After New York City police and firefighters unfurled an American flag that flew over the ruins of ground zero five years ago, the first of four moments of silence was observed, at 8:46 a.m., the moment when the first hijacked plane struck the north tower. Susan Sliwak lost her husband, Robert, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond trading firm in tower one.

    SUSAN SLIWAK, Wife of September 11 Victim: We had been married for only nine years, though it felt as if we had shared a lifetime together, because of all that we had been through. The light of his life were our three children, Ryan and our twins, Kyle and Nicole. Of all the many things I wish I could still tell him, there is one thing my heart wants to say above all the rest, feelings best expressed in the words of an American song: "How much do I love you? I will tell you no lie. How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? How many times a day do I think of you? How many roses are sprinkled with dew? How far would I travel to be where you are? How far is the journey? From here to a star? And, if I ever lost you, how much would I cry? How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?"

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Spouses, partners and others read 2,749 names of those who perished in the New York attack.

  • WOMAN:

    Shannon Lewis Adams.

  • WOMAN:

    Stephen George Adams.

  • WOMAN:

    Ignatius Udo Adanga.

  • WOMAN:

    And to my husband, Richard Anthony Aceto, our daughter, Christina, and I love you, and miss you very, very much.

  • WOMAN:

    And my boyfriend, firefighter Paul John Gill, my love for you is eternal. And we miss you very much.

    JAMES SMITH, Husband of September 11 Victim: I am the husband of New York City police officer, Moira Smith, who, five years ago, ran into the south tower, because she believed that a life lived in service of others was the only one worth living. She never hesitated when there was work to be done. And that is how she would want our daughter, Patricia, to remember her. I have been thinking about what Moira would be doing today if she were here with us. I know she would be concerned for her fellow officers, for their health and their safety. She would be still protecting the people of the city she loved, defending a nation she loved, keeping it from harm. And she would be raising the child she loved more than anything on Earth. But, most importantly, Moira would be about the business of living. She would be making us smile when we wanted to frown and laugh when we wanted to cry. Police officer Moira Smith did not survive that day. And the world is a less safe, less fun and a less caring place because of it. I am honored to have been her husband. I am grateful to have our child to raise, helping her to understand that her mother was, and still is, the pride of New York City.

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