America marks a painful anniversary

NEW YORK (AP) - In New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, Americans have paused today to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In a three-hour ceremony at ground zero, family members read the names of the 2,752 people killed at the World Trade Center. Bells tolled, bagpipes played and roses were placed in a reflecting pool in front of a memorial.

Afterward, demonstrators began to gather for rallies for and against a proposed Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero. At the Pentagon, where 184 people died, President Barack Obama urged Americans to mark the anniversary by practicing tolerance and embracing the nation's diversity.

The president said the highest honor we can pay to those lost is "to stay true to who we are, as Americans." He said we must not "sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust." First lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor, Laura Bush, spoke at a memorial service in Shanksville, Pa., for the 40 passengers and crew who died aboard Flight 93.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)