Utahns commemorate 9/11 attacks with mourners around the world

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. From New York, to London, to Sandy--and hundreds of other locations--people paused to remember the events of that day eight years ago, and those who died.

A rainy, windy and dark day in New York marked to eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. The events took place at ground zero, the site of the former World Trade Center towers. At a nearby park, relatives read the names of family members who died that day.

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"While there is pain in remembering their loss, there is sweetness in remembering their lives," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

At the White House, the first family led a moment of silence. President Obama has designated Sept. 11 an annual day of service and remembrance.

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan paused, as did others serving in Japan. Foreign leaders also participated in ceremonies in London and Moscow.

As part of the president's call for community service, Salt Lake Mayor Peter Corroon and others planted trees and announced the establishment of three tree banks. The goal is to plant 1 million trees in the years ahead.

In Sandy, there's a display of two acres of American flags; the seventh annual Healing Field was started the year following the attacks to pay tribute to the victims. Since then, more than 300 cities across the country have created their own healing fields, which celebrate all of America's heroes.

On September 11, 2001 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes. At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. 17 minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying or damaging nearby buildings. American Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. United Flight 93, which was headed for Washington, D.C., crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. after passengers and crew tried to take back the plane. 2,993 people, including the hijackers, died.The Pentagon was repaired with a memorial in less than a year. In May 2006, 7 World Trade Center was re-opened. 1 World Trade Center, called the "The Freedom Tower," is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2011. Towers 2-5, a memorial and museum, a retail complex, Performing Arts Center and transportation hub are all expected to be completed by 2012.
Sandy's Healing Field held a memorial ceremony Friday with guest speakers--including former U.S. senator, astronaut and veteran Jake Garn, who reminded us of the thanks we owe to those who keep us free. "It's literally impossible for me to describe how fortunate we are to live in this country," Garn said, adding his thanks and appreciation for all who have made sacrifices.

There are two healing fields in the area this weekend: at the Sandy location and at the West Jordan Veteran's Memorial Park. Each location will have about 1,500 flags.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com


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