Ceremony held at the Pentagon
Nearly 200 people were killed on the 9/11 in the attack on the Pentagon. Sunday, a somber ceremony was held to remember them. Our Erin Billups has more.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sunday's ceremony at the Pentagon honored the lives lost in the tragic attack ten years ago, but also sent a very strong message to America's enemies.
"It is difficult to believe that 10 years ago this was the scene of incredible devastation, fire, smoke," said U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.
Now it's a place of beauty, where the lives of those lost there a decade ago can be remembered. Family members of the victims killed during the attack gathered with dignitaries for a solemn, private ceremony at the memorial. A moment of silence taken just moments before 9:37, the time the hijacked American Airlines flight 77 was flown into the west wall of the Pentagon ten years ago.
Service members laid wreaths down, one-by-one, on each of the 184 benches of the Pentagon Memorial, representing each of the victims killed in 2001 attack.
"I was also incredibly touched with the honor guard," Lisa Dowland said. "It was really a very special ceremony."
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President all shared remarks, words to comfort the family members of the victims.
"Hopes were tragically dashed. You come here we all come here to remember those hopes and to mourn and to honor," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said.
While forced to beef up security surrounding the 9/11 anniversary due to new terror threats, officials brazenly asserted American's resilience against threats old and new.
"Every time this nation has been attacked, you knew it only emboldens us to stand up and to strike back," Vice President Joe Biden said.
And family members of the victims like Lisa Dowland, whose husband died in the attack, hopes that sentiment is never forgotten.
"It's about remembering what happened on 9/11. Remembering all the loved ones that were lost and making sure that the children learn what happened on September 11th," Dowland said.