US 'moves on' from 9/11 after 11 years

Jonathan Gray

AMERICANS marked September 11 with tearful messages to loved ones and moments of silence, but the smaller ceremonies gave a sense of moving on 11 years after nearly 3,000 people died in the worst terror attack in US history.

Hundreds gathered at the World Trade Centre site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to read the names of the dead.

"Our country is safer, and our people are resilient," President Barack Obama said in a ceremony at the White House. He and first lady Michelle Obama later visited the graves of recent war dead from Afghanistan and Iraq at Arlington National Cemetery.


Some said last year's 10th anniversary was a turning point for mourning. For the first time, politicians were not speaking at the New York ceremony.

"It's human nature, so people move on," said Wanda Ortiz, of New York City, whose husband Emilio was killed in the north tower, leaving behind her and their five-month-old twin daughters. "My concern now is ... how I keep the memory of my husband alive."

Thousands had attended the ceremony in New York in previous years. This time, the crowd reached about 1,000 by late yesterday morning. A few hundred attended ceremonies at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

More than four million people have visited the memorial in the past year. Yesterday, much of central Manhattan bustled like a regular weekday, except for clusters of police and emergency vehicles on the borders of the site.