The National September 11 Memorial: Paul Simon Performs The Sounds of Silence

The National September 11 Memorial

It was a day of quiet grace and open grief, a time for solemnity, reflection and togetherness. The National September 11 Memorial was commemorated today not with the cutting of a ribbon, but with the ringing of a bell, the same bell that had clanged for the past nine years, calling out the impacts of those four planes, the collapse of those twin towers. Paul Simon performed The Sounds of Silence in front of the families of 9/11 victims at Ground Zero, an appearance that was part of the observances for the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City. Simon’s performance was described as perhaps the most moving moment of the ceremony.

Remembering 9/11: Paul Simon Performs Sings The Sounds of Silence

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Remembering the Heroes: The Flight 93 National Memorial

Remembering the Heroes: The Flight 93 National Memorial

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, the U.S. came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Three of the planes hijacked by al-Qaeda on that day hit their high-profile targets: the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives. Because of the actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93, who fought back against their hijackers, an intended attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice-President Biden, state officials, bereaved relatives, artists and members of the public gathered Saturday to open a 1,500-acre national park on the outskirts of Shanksville (PA) that includes the partially completed Flight 93 National Memorial, in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93.

The dedication of the memorial on Saturday, provided an opportunity for the two former presidents to appeal for unity. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton specifically mentioned the fractured state of relations in Washington. But their sharing of a stage and their comments here in the field where Flight 93 slammed into the ground stood in sharp contrast to the current state of divisive political discord.

Dedication of the New Shanksville Memorial

Former President Bill Clinton: Dedication of The Flight 93 National Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial in The Making

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