America

Lower-Key Ceremonies For This Year's Sept. 11 Commemoration

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    President Obama stands with Defense Defense Leon Panetta (left) and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, as they place their hands over their hearts at the Pentagon Memorial,Tuesday, during a ceremony to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in Arlington, Va.
    Carolyn Kaster/AP
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    Airline pilots Capt. Anthony Chapman (right) and Capt. Paul Evans salute with others as the U.S. flag is lowered to half staff at the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, Texas. Flight crews gathered at the memorial near Dallas-Fort Worth airport to remember the flight crews lost in the Sept. 11 attacks.
    LM Otero/AP
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    Judy Parisio (right) and Linda Malbrba make a rubbing of their niece's name, Frances Ann Cilente, who worked at the World Trade Center, during ceremonies marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
    Chang W. Lee/Pool/Reuters/Landov
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    President Obama, first lady Michelle and members of the White House staff pause for a moment of silence to mark the anniversary on the South Lawn of the White House.
    Carolyn Kaster/AP
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    New York City police bugler Gabe Perdomo warms up next to the South Pool at ground zero during Tuesday's memorial ceremonies for the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
    Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images
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    A U.S. soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force looks on during a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony Tuesday at Kaia airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
    Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images
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    The Tribute in Light shines above the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty on Monday as seen from Bayonne, N.J. Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the attack that destroyed the twin towers.
    Mark Lennihan/AP
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    Dominique Sanders walks Monday with her daughter Roux, 2, among flags flying at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. One flag from the nationality of each person killed that day was erected at the school.
    David McNew/AP
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    A woman looks at flowers at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Monday ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in Shanksville, Pa.
    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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UPDATE at 9:00 ET:

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and White House staffers observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the silence, three bell tolls were struck and a bugler played taps.

Here's our earlier post:

Ceremonies to commemorate the nearly 3,000 people killed 11 years ago today in the worst-ever terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are decidedly lower key this time around.

At the National September 11 Memorial plaza in New York, a moment of silence will be observed at 8:47 a.m. ET to mark the time when the first plane struck the north tower at the World Trade Center, but The Wall Street Journal notes: "no elected official will speak. Family members will read the names of the dead, accompanied by music, on the 9/11 memorial plaza between the waterfalls now marking footprints of the two towers."

President Obama, the first lady and the White House staff will observe the moment of silence on the South Lawn. The president will later speak at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and Vice President Joe Biden will attend a ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., where hijacked Flight 93 crashed.

The Associated Press reports:

"The neighborhood around ground zero seemed more normal than in previous years, with fewer police barricades and commuters rushing out of the subway."

Last year's 10th anniversary saw the opening of the 9/11 Memorial. This year's ceremonies were to include the unveiling of the 9/11 Museum, but the project has been held up by a dispute between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The New York Times says: "With work on the museum at a standstill for nearly a year, fundraising and donations have fallen, and exhibits are gathering dust in fabrication shops in Buffalo and Santa Fe, N.M., according to museum executives."

However, Cuomo on Monday announced that an agreement that paves the way for finishing the $700 million project "as soon as practicable," according to the AP.

Politics will take a pause. The president and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will suspend their campaign for a day.

Romney will be in Reno, Nev., where he will speak to a conference of the National Guard Association of the United States.

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