Arlingtonians Remember 9/11 in Their Own Ways

(Monday, September 11, 2006 2:03 PM EDT)
The fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was commemorated Monday in a ceremony that not only honored those who died, but saluted those whose actions on 9/11 made a difference.

“Arlington remembers all responders,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said at the event, held in the courtyard of the Arlington County Justice Center. “The families, the non-profits, members of the public, victims who lost their lives, families and loved ones who lost their lives, and the spirit that brought us together.”

At 9:37 a.m., the exact time the plane hit the Pentagon five years ago, Zimmerman called for a minute of silence. A bell was then tolled 184 times, to remember the victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 was deliberately crashed by terrorists into the Pentagon.

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th, lauded the “perfect professionalism” of Arlington's public-safety personnel, who responded to the Pentagon after the crash and won worldwide accolades for containing the damage with no additional loss of life.

He also praised the community-wide outreach effort that occurred after the attacks.

“Arlington has woven together the fabric of a community that can't be torn apart,” he said.

But Moran then maneuvered into more sensitive ground, suggesting that the country was not safer and intimating that the Bush administration's foreign policy was headed in the wrong directions.

“More people hate us,” Moran said, a comment that drew an outburst from the crowd.

“My brother died on 9/11 - don't make this political,” a woman in audience cried out.

Moran continued, calling on the nation to address the root causes of terrorism by the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

Arlington will play host to a number of other commemorative events this week, including a Sept. 14 concert by the Arlington Philharmonic.

For details on other events that are part of the Sept. 11 commemoration, see the Arlington County government Web site at

At the Pentagon, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld presided over a morning ceremony honoring those who died.

“We honor the men, women and children whose lives were taken so suddenly and so coldly,” Cheney said.

About 100 family members of those killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 attended the ceremony.

Cheney said that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, created “a day of national unity.”

At the event, Rumsfeld said that “the highest tribute we can pay to them is to commit ourselves to doing everything possible to fight the extremists wherever they are, to making every effort to stay united as a country and to give our truly outstanding men and women in uniform all that they need to succeed.”

The American Forces Press Service contributed to this report.

The fifth annual Arlington Police/Sheriff/Fire 9-11 5K Race drew thousands to Crystal City on Sept. 9. It was one of many events taking place across the county to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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