President Obama and many other Washington politicians took time out from the hard-fought campaign season to observe the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama began the day with a moment of silence on the South Lawn just after 8:45 a.m., around the time the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. From there, they traveled to the Pentagon, where the President spoke at a memorial service in honor of those who died there, as well as in New York and Pennsylvania.
“This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn. Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred. We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline,” Obama says. “And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father’s eyes, and a daughter has her mother’s laugh — living reminders that those who died are with us still.”
While Obama was the highest ranking official to mark the day, he was by no means alone.
Most, if not all, of the Democratic senators tweeted words of remembrance or shared how they observed the day.
Among them, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered remarks on the Senate floor to mark the day.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire tweeted: “Today we honor our brave heroes, first responders and our troops.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California tweeted: “We all should thank our troops, especially our Navy SEALs, and our Commander in Chief for finally bringing bin Laden to justice.”
And Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia explicitly put politics aside by saying: “In our shared grief, we put our political differences aside & stand together as Americans. May God bless America.”
WATCH THE VIDEO OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE OBSERVANCE HERE: