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Obama, in first 9/11 as president, honors victims' memory with moment of silence

September 11, 2009 |  6:31 am

The world trade towers on Sept. 11, 2001

On Sept. 11, 2001, Barack Obama was a 40-year-old state senator, driving to a hearing when he heard the first reports of a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York.

Days later, he issued a statement about how the nation had to bolster security, root out "organizations of destruction" and understand "the sources of such madness." No Chicago daily used his words.

Eight years later, President Obama stood with his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, in a moment of silence to honor the more than 3,000 victims of the terrorist attack that crashed into both trade centers in New York, the Pentagon near Washington, and thanks to a rebellion by passengers on United Flight 93, into a field in Shanksville, Pa.

A bell rang three times, then they bowed their heads for a minute. They placed their hands over their hearts while a bugler played taps. With them were 200 White House staff, from maintenance workers and chef to key advisers Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod.


-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo Credit: Spencer Platt for Getty Images of the trade center towers; Reuters of the Obamas