New York – Ten years on, Americans will come together Sunday where the World Trade Center soared, where the Pentagon stands as a fortress once breached, where United Airlines Flight 93 knifed into the earth.
They will gather to pray in cathedrals in our greatest cities and to lay roses before fire stations in our smallest towns, to remember in countless ways the anniversary of the most devastating terrorist attacks since the nation’s founding, and in the process mark the milestone as history itself.
As in earlier observances, bells will toll again to mourn the loss of those killed in the attacks. Ceremonies also will consecrate new memorials in lower Manhattan, rural Pennsylvania and elsewhere, concrete symbols of the resolve to remember and rebuild.
But much of the weight of this year’s ceremonies lies in what will largely go unspoken – the anniversary’s role in prompting Americans to consider how the attacks changed them and the larger world and the continuing struggle to understand Sept. 11’s place in the lore of the nation.