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Remembering 9/11

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Americans are remembering the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation.

In New York City families of victims who died in the World Trade Center Towers are at Ground Zero to remember that horrible day when both Twin Towers were destroyed.

Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins issued the following statement on the the tenth anniversary of 9/11:

"In the aftermath of 9/11, we came together as Americans of all backgrounds and faiths united against terrorists who hijacked the Islamic religion and used it to justify their murderous and cowardly acts. Many things have changed in the decade since that tragic day, but America's pledge to provide liberty and justice for all remains constant and as strong as ever. The devastating events that took place ten years ago have touched the lives of every American and are eternally sewn into the fabric of our history. The images of that day will forever be embedded in our minds and the victims will always have a special place in our hearts. This country's grace is built on the foundation of its people as was vividly displayed by the heroic first responders running toward catastrophe, selfless in their determination to protect and serve. And despite hardships, challenges and unthinkable acts our resilience remains unbroken. People come to this great nation because they thirst for the freedom we have. We will continue to set an example for the world as the land of opportunity, acceptance and independence and we will do so together as Americans."

The following is a statement from Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul on remembering 10 years since the September 11th attacks:

"Today, we honor all the brave men and women who risked and lost their lives on September 11, 2001 - a tragedy of unspeakable proportion that has been seared into our memories forever. But what arose from the ashes of this tragedy was not what our attackers ever anticipated. Instead of wallowing in hate and fear, our nation banded together with a common purpose, like never before in our lifetimes. And a spirit was born that made us for a time, better than we were. The question before us today is how to re-kindle those feelings of patriotism and common purpose, and once again recognize that so much more binds us than divides us in this great country. Let us answer it by honoring the victims and commemorating the bravery of our first responders, military men and women, and veterans. Many of them joined their fellow brothers and sisters and answered the call by leaving the security of their homes and selflessly traveling down to New York City to help dig in the wreckage of the Twin Towers. Some spent weeks removing steel beam after steel beam from downtown Manhattan. Others served their duty by risking their lives overseas; fighting to protect and defend our freedom from the very terrorists who attacked our nation on that clear, Tuesday morning. While we may have lost our innocence as a nation on 9/11, the attacks brought us together as better, more caring people toward one another. A decade later, we begin to heal, but we will never forget September 11, 2001."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo attended Sunday morning's Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in New York City. Names of those killed were read by family and friends.

The Governor has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Sunday, in tribute to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Sunday afternoon Governor Cuomo visits the New York Remembers Exhibit at SUNY Rockland Community College Technology Center, White Plains Public Library and Mount Kisco Public Library.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

"On this solemn anniversary, I join with all New Yorkers in remembering and honoring those we lost 10 years ago. They were first responders, firefighters, and police officers who rushed in to the burning towers to save others, and civilians who were just trying to go about their daily lives. But they were also mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Few in our state have been untouched by the impact of the unspeakable attacks on our country that day, and each loss leaves a hole that can never be filled, no matter how many years pass. So as we honor their memory today - and the memory of the brave men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives to protect us since then - let us pray for their families and loved ones, and recommit ourselves to work for a more secure future."

Listen all day to WBFO for day-long coverage on remembering 9/11 from NPR.

Across Buffalo and Western New York a number of memorial services and events are taking place to honor all the victims of 9/11.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Higgins joined other dignitaries at the Central Wharf in downtown Buffalo for a special service Sunday morning.

A 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony was also held at Forest Lawn in Buffalo. A special flower ceremony was held inside Forest Lawn at 8:46 Sunday morning, the time the first plane struck one of the World Trade Center Towers ten years ago. A minute of silence was held and the cemetery's historic bell rang for each of those who died that day.

An American flag was placed across the pedestrian bridge over Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park Sunday morning in honor of the fallen heroes of 9/11.