Biden: Attacks Galvanized New Generation Of Patriots

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Survivors of the attack on Sept. 11 and the families of victims who died that day gathered for a memorial tribute at the Pentagon. Both Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama paid tribute at the site.

RACHEL MARTIN: I'm Rachel Martin at the Pentagon where survivors of the attack on 9/11 and the families of victims who died that day gathered for a memorial tribute. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, recalled what happened here.

MICHAEL MULLEN: Lives ended in this place. Dreams were shattered. Hopes were tragically dashed. You come here, we all come here, to remember those hopes and to mourn and to honor.

MARTIN: Vice President Joe Biden remembered the courage of those in the Pentagon who ran into the fire to help others. He said the terrorists tried to break America and failed.

JOE BIDEN: But they did not know us. Instead, that same American instinct that sent all of you into the breach between the 4th and 5th corridors galvanized an entire new generation of patriots, the 9/11 generation.

MARTIN: Biden paid tribute to the more than two million service members who joined the military after 9/11, many of them in elementary school when the attacks happened and today have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm standing at the Pentagon Memorial, and families and friends of the victims are taking a moment to reflect and walking around the memorial, visiting the bench that commemorates the life of their loved one.

LISA DOLAN: My name is Lisa Dolan. I'm the wife of Captain Robert Dolan.

MARTIN: She visits the bench with his name on it every September 11th.

DOLAN: I have moved forward, but I've never left behind my husband or the other 183 people who were killed here. They're with me every day.

MARTIN: Later in the day, President Obama laid a wreath at the Pentagon Memorial. But for many families here, the most moving tribute came near the end of the ceremony this morning when 184 members of the military in dress uniforms solemnly marched through the park next to the Pentagon that commemorates the victims of the attack. The service members then placed bouquets of white flowers, one on each bench.


MARTIN: Rachel Martin, NPR News, the Pentagon.

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