NEW YORK -- Americans looked back on the September 11th attacks Tuesday with solemn ceremonies, volunteer service and a presidential tribute to "the moment when America fought back" on one of the hijacked planes used as weapons in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Thousands of 9/11 victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and others gathered on a misty Tuesday morning at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence headed to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001: a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon. Mr. Trump said the field in Shanksville is now a "monument to American defiance."
Seventeen years after losing her husband, Margie Miller went to the New York City ceremony from her home in suburban Baldwin.
"To me, he is here. This is my holy place," she said before the hours-long reading of the names of the nearly 3,000 dead, including her husband, Joel Miller.
The 9/11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, centered on reading the names of the dead. But each year at ground zero, victims' relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern.
For Nicholas Haros Jr., that concern is officials who make comparisons to 9/11 or invoke it for political purposes.
"Stop. Stop," pleaded Haros, who lost his 76-year-old mother, Frances. "Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props in your political theater. Their lives, sacrifices and deaths are worth so much more. Let's not trivialize them."
Rare video from ground zero on 9/11
On the morning of September 11, 2001, CBS News photojournalist Mark LaGanga's cell phone and home landline rang simultaneously. An editor on the CBS News national desk was calling and directed LaGanga to drive to downtown Manhattan to shoot what, at that time, was thought to be a small plane crash at the World Trade Center.
Only 29 minutes passed between the two World Trade Center towers falling. Photojournalist Mark LaGanga captured the eerie scene up close in this 60 Minutes segment.
President Trump at Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania
marked the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on American soil by remembering the victims and heroes of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"Today, we mourn their loss, we share their story, and we commemorate their incredible valor," Mr. Trump said Tuesday of the Americans who died on that fateful flight 17 years ago.
New "Tower of Voices" memorial dedicated Sunday
Dedicated on Sunday, the newin Shanksville, Pennsylvania honors the heroes of Flight 93 who thwarted the hijackers' plans on 9/11. Standing in a field amid the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania, the "Tower of Voices" stands 93 feet tall.
The tower is a work in progress. It currently holds eight wind chimes. But will soon be expanded to 40 – one for each passenger and crew member who died here on September 11, 2001.
World Trade Center subway station re-opened
Only two days ago, the Cortlandt Street subway station, which was located directly below the World Trade Center, was re-opened for the first time. When the towers came down, parts of the buildings tore through the terminal. The devastation left a gaping hole above the station, and twisted the massive metal beams of the roof.
After nearly two decades, the newly rebuilt and renamedjust days before the 17th anniversary of the attacks. Work only began on the project in 2015 because New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was not able to gain control of the site until then.