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Marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

This special edition of CNN Student News is dedicated to marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It reviewa the events of that historic day, and visits remembrance ceremonies at Ground Zero in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania. We also learn about new memorials built to honor those lost.

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to this special edition of CNN Student News. From CNN Center in Atlanta, I`m Carl Azuz.

Today`s show is dedicated to remembering the events of September 11th, 2001, and honoring those lost. Yesterday marked 10 years since the 9/11 attacks, when terrorists targeting the United States killed nearly 3,000 people.

In Friday`s show, we walked you through the events of that day, and you can find the video for that at cnnstudentnews.com. Today, we look at how the nation spent the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

Commemorations were held at the sites of the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Ceremonies took place under extremely heavy security because of a credible but still unconfirmed threat of a possible new terror strike.

Let`s begin now in New York, where the World Trade Center`s North and South Towers collapsed in 2001. It happened after they were hit by two hijacked planes. It was where the biggest loss of life took place that day.


AZUZ (voice-over): On Sunday, thousands gathered where the towers once stood, an area now known as Ground Zero. Those present paused for a moment of silence at 8:46 am, the exact time the first plane hit. It was the first of six moment of silence marking key moments of 9/11.

President Obama and former president George W. Bush, whom you saw right there, attended the ceremony, and they read passage from the Bible. Family member of those who died on 9/11 read aloud the names of each victim, and shared stores about their loved ones.

PETER NEGRON, SON OF 9/11 VICTIM: My father worked on the 88th floor of the World Trade Center. I was 13 when I stood here in 2003 and read a poem about how much I wanted to break down and cry.

Since then, I`ve stopped crying, but I haven`t stopped missing my dad. He was awesome. My brother, Austin (ph), had just turned two when he passed. I`ve tried to teach him all the things my father taught me, how to catch a baseball, how to ride a bike and to work hard in school. My dad always said how important it was.


AZUZ: Observances were also held around the world to remember those lost, including hundreds from other countries. And in New York, a memorial opened as a permanent tribute to the events of 9/11.

The memorial took several years to plan, and it had many revisions along the way. And nearby a tower even taller than the fallen towers is under construction.

To help us all remember, Anderson Cooper looks back at the World Trade Center`s history, its significance and the new tower that`s rising.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: (voice-over): New Yorkers have been talking about building a world trade center for 20 years before ground was broken on Manhattan`s Lower West Side on August 5th, 1966. Older buildings had to be demolished.

The North Tower started going up in 1968, the South Tower five months later. The first tenants moved in in 1970, even before construction finished on the upper floors. Ribbon cutting was in 1973.

The towers were full of innovations. At 110 stories, they were the tallest buildings in the world, at least for a little while. Each floor was about an acre of open space, their weight distributed between a central core and steel columns in the building`s outer skin.

High-speed express elevators and sky lobbies on the 44th and 78th floors made getting to the top quick and efficient. The complex even had its own zip code, 10048. Iconic additions to Manhattan`s skyline, the World Trade Center never stopped attracting attention. But as the years went by, the towers, symbols of a city, a country and a way of life, also became a focal point for hatred.

In February 1993, a van packed with explosive was detonated in a package garage under the North Tower. Six people died, and about a thousand were hurt. Islamic extremists behind the attack were rounded up, tried as criminals, convicted and sent to prison. But the international terrorists who inspired them kept plotting, and struck on that crystal clear morning in 2001.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.


COOPER (voice-over): It took eight months for bodies to be recovered and for a million tons of twisted steel and concrete to be cleared away.

Plans for a new and even taller skyscraper were revealed quickly, and changed repeatedly to make it stronger and safer. The new One World Trade Center will have a reinforced center core, extra fireproofing, biochemical filters and even green technology.

Groundbreaking for the main tower, One World Trade Center, took place in 2006.


GEORGE PATAKI: We are going to soar to new heights and reclaim New York`s skyline with this magnificent symbol of our freedom.


COOPER (voice-over): Today, the still unfinished tower just pokes above the skyline on its way to becoming the country`s tallest skyscraper, 1,776 feet at the tip of its antenna, matching the year of U.S. independence, 1776.

AZUZ: In Washington, D.C., mourners gathered at the Pentagon, which also came under attack on 9/11.


AZUZ (voice-over): Here, there was a moment of silence at 9:37 am, when in 2001, a plane struck the Pentagon, killing 184 people.

Vice President Joe Biden addressed those gathered, and spoke of America`s resolve in the midst of a historic challenge.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Al Qaida and Bin Laden never imagined that the 3,000 people who lost their lives that day would inspire 3 million to put on the uniform and harden the resolve of 300 million Americans.

They never imagined the sleeping giant they were about to awaken. They never imagined these things, because they did not understand what enables us, what has always enabled us to withstand any test that comes our way. But you understood.


AZUZ: A third ceremony was held in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. That`s where another plane went down after passengers realized the hijackers` plans and tried to stop them from hitting a fourth target, thought to be the Capitol building in Washington.


AZUZ (voice-over): Sunday, President Obama and the first lady laid a wreath in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who lost their lives in that crash. It came a day after a new memorial was unveiled at the site.

David Mattingly has more on how the men and women aboard that flight will be remembered.



DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN REPORTER: Ten years ago, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was the site of a violent act of terrorism. There was a great deal of uncertainty, fear and anger surrounding this site.

Well, today, we find it completely transformed, this pastoral setting now very peaceful with grasses and wildflowers growing everywhere, the dedication of this memorial today was for the bravery and courage of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, and it was an emotional time, not just for the family members of the people on board that plane, but also for former president George W. Bush.

GEORGE BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With their selfless act, the men and women who stormed the cockpit lived out the words, "Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends."

And with their brave decision, they launched the first counter offensive of the war on terror.


AZUZ: Jessica is a student who also talked about the crash in Pennsylvania. On our blog, she wrote that we shouldn`t just remember the people who died in the twin towers ".and those who died trying to save lives, but also the innocent people who died on the planes. Especially the brave people on the fourth plane.." United Flight 93.

Sydney says, ". it is important to remember 9/11 so that we can pray for all of the victims as well as their families that were involved in that horrible day."

Joseph wrote that even though 9/11 was an awful tragedy, ".it brought this country together and the unity shown after the attack should be an example of how to live our lives and how great our country is."

And listen to what Margaret said. "When we, as students, learn about the Civil War and other points in history, their impact in our lives seems minimal," but ".when our teachers talk of the 9/11 attack, we can realize just how real and important history is."

We appreciate you joining us for this special edition of CNN Student News. To end our show today, we leave you with images from some of the many events held to remember 9/11.


Tribute: Before and After 9/11

TRANSCRIPT AZUZ: It all started at 8:45 on a clear Tuesday morning. We had a live camera up on what looked like a smoking slash across one of the World Trade Center towers. A passenger plane had flown into it, and I remember some of us here at CNN thinking this was some sort of freak event. Then a second plane flew into the other tower. That was at 9:03 am, and at that point, there was this deepening dread in everyone. Something was wrong in a way we`d never seen before. Airports, bridges, tunnels in New York and New Jersey shut down. Within 30 minutes, President George W. Bush said we were under an apparent terrorist attack. And minutes after that, every airport in the country was closed. That had never happened before. It wasn`t over, though. At 9:43 am, a third passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon. Dark smoke rolled up from that part of that huge building. All eyes and many cameras were on that and the two burning towers in New York. And as all of us watched at 10:05, one of those towers gave way where it was smoking, the top part crushing down on the rest of it, and sending up debris and boiling gray clouds. Five minutes later, part of the Pentagon collapsed, and a fourth hijacked jet crashed in a rural part of Pennsylvania. The White House, the United Nations, the State and Justice Departments, the World Bank​, all evacuated. America-bound Atlantic flights were rerouted to Canada. And the second Trade Center tower came down at 10:28. So many closings, evacuations, shutdowns. Except for emergency response teams -- the heroes of 9/11 -- the country virtually stopped what it was doing and gathered around TV screens. The president appeared just after 1:00 p.m., and asked Americans to pray. And there wasn`t much else we could do. The destruction was more or less done around 10:30. It was less than two hours from the first crash. But the change it inflicted was immeasurable. More Americans were killed on September 11, 2001​, than on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. And when President Bush addressed the nation that night at 8:30, his tone was one of sympathy, resolve and warning to anyone who`d planned or supported the attacks.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
AZUZ: In the difficult days that followed, we learned that the Al Qaida​ terrorist group, led by Osama bin Laden, was responsible for all of this. And America`s attention and anger turned to Afghanistan, whose Taliban leaders were giving Al Qaida a safe place to live and operate.


Remembering 9/11

Cartoon selection:

Portraits of Resilience:
If the story of the United States has a theme so far in the 21st century, it is surely one of resilience. To hail that spirit on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, TIME revisited the people who led us, moved us and inspired us, from the morning of the attacks through the tumultuous decade that followed. These astonishing testimonies — from 40 men and women including George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, General David Petraeus, Valerie Plame Wilson, Black Hawk helicopter pilot Tammy Duckworth, and the heroic first responders of Ground Zero — define what it means to meet adversity, and then overcome it.
(click on the picture)


Central Park - NYC

New York Central Park is perhaps the most famous park in the world, if certainly the world's most photographed park, featured in thousands of motion pictures and television shows, but this most beloved of New York landmarks almost didn't happen. In the original city plan adopted in the early 19th century, the area where the park is today was mapped with streets and avenues.
The streets and avenues that were originally part of the grid plan were never actually constructed because Central Park was not part of the original plan of 1811. It only came in the mid 19th century.
By the mid 1800s, half a million people were living on Manhattan. Recognizing a need for some open space in the rapidly growing city, citizens groups persuaded the local government to set aside an area in the middle of the island for a park. But despite its appearance today, the site chosen was not pristine wilderness. Nearly every inch was designed and built from below the ground up.
Central Park was in an area that was not as buildable, if you will. It was rugged. It had a lot of roughness to it as far as the vegetation. There was a big swamp in it but we also have to remember that at the time, Central Park wasn't empty. There were actually people living there. There was a little Seneca Village there so it was controversial, even at a time just simply dedicating the land and then removing these people that were living there just for the pleasure of being able to walk in the outdoors.
The only natural elements that couldn't be moved were the rock outcrops so the landscape was designed around the natural outcroppings that can still be found throughout the park today. Construction, which began in 1857, spanned more than 16 years. Thousands of laborers, mostly Irish and German immigrants, were hired to transform the landscape. Working largely by hand, they brought in more than 500,000 cubic feet of topsoil from New Jersey and removed more than 10 million cart loads of rocks and debris from the park. Today, Central Park is one of the world's urban wonders, an oasis of greenery in the steel and concrete New York cityscape. The 843-acre park contains 24,000 trees, 36 bridges and arches, 8 manmade ponds and streams, and 9000 benches. Each year, around 25 million people visit the park to jog or bike along its six-mile drive, play sports, hike its twisting paths, or just relax.
Well, in some sense, without Central Park, New York City would be a concrete jungle with parking lot upon parking lot of cross streets and building so Central Park really provides some release to the urban life of the city.


What has many keys but can't open any doors?
A piano.