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Victims of attacks honored at 3 sites

Moments of silence and memorial services mark the sixth anniversary.

September 12, 2007|Johanna Neuman | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The nation's political and military leaders on Tuesday commemorated the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with remembrances of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed after 19 hijackers commandeered four airliners.

On the South Lawn of the White House, there was silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT, the moment six years ago when American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles, slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, with their wives at their sides, stood as a Marine Corps band played "God Bless America." Bush did not speak. Around them, a group of White House employees, including West Wing staff, kitchen workers and groundskeepers, joined in the moment of silence.

At the Pentagon, officials held a memorial service near the section of the building, now rebuilt, into which United Flight 77 crashed six years ago at 9:39 a.m. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, placed a wreath at the site, near an engraved marker made of scorched limestone from the building's damaged facade.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, September 13, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 73 words Type of Material: Correction
Sept. 11 ceremonies: An article in Wednesday's Section A on 9/11 remembrances in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., said the hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon was United Airlines Flight 77. It was an American Airlines flight. Another article in Section A, about 9/11 observances in Los Angeles, mentioned a remnant of the World Trade Center that stands outside the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center as weighing 2,300 tons. It weighs 23 tons.

"To the families of the fallen, I do not know the proper words to tell you what's in my heart," Pace told a group that included relatives of the 184 people who died at the Pentagon.

"We cannot touch our loved ones today," he said, his voice breaking. "Therefore, we ask God to hug them for us that they might know that we love them and we miss them and we'll serve this nation in their honor."

Pace said he hoped that "somehow these observances help lessen your pain," and that the 2.5 million members of the military "recommit today to defending this nation against all enemies."

At 9:55 a.m., a memorial began at a field in Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93, traveling from Newark to San Francisco when it was hijacked, crashed after passengers stormed the cockpit. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke, and a bell tolled for each of the 40 victims.

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johanna.neuman@latimes.com

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