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Sunday, September 11, 2005:
Arlington hosts somber 9/11 remembrances

Under a sky as cloudless blue as four years ago, throngs of people on Sunday sang "God Bless America" outside the Pentagon and arched in remembrance of the terrorist attacks and in tribute to troops fighting abroad.

Several thousand people joined in the "America Supports You Freedom Walk," a demonstration organized by the Defense Department that mixed commemoration of the September 11 anniversary with a call to honor those in the armed forces.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld spoke somberly of the stakes in the fight against on terrorism during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery before the walk.

"Today, history is being written by the valiant men and women of America's armed forces and by determined citizens who will do all they can to win this test of wills - for that is what it is - to keep our children from experiencing the heartbreak and terror of Sept. 11," Rumsfeld said.

His voice breaking, Rumsfeld noted that the children of some of the 184 victims killed inside the Pentagon and aboard hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11 were in his audience.

"They will likely want to know why this terrible thing happened," he said. "It's hard for free people to comprehend the mix of extremism and hatred that leads terrorists to murder innocent men, women and children. But perhaps we can tell them this: Throughout human history there have been those who seek power through fear and mass murder but eventually all of them - every one - has fallen."

In a city more accustomed to protests against government policy, the crowds gathered in praise of soldiers. For many participants, support of President Bush's policy in Iraq was a strong subtext of the day.

Security was tight, and participation in the walk was limited to those who registered before the weekend.

Marchers were not allowed to carry signs. The crowd included a small group of anti-war protesters, who kept their criticism muted and walked respectfully with the others.

Mark Burlingame, 54, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose brother, Charles, was the pilot of the jetliner that hit the Pentagon, said: "I'm here to show support for our military and represent 9/11 families in support of the military's effort to crush the scourge of terrorism in the world."

Monica Penski, 25, of Lafayette, Indiana, came to voice opposition to the war in Iraq. "I just don't want to see more loss of human life," she said. Her T-shirt was scrawled with the words: "Violence is not the path to peace."

Marchers observed a moment of silence outside the Pentagon and softly sang "God Bless America" before filing past the now-rebuilt wing of the Defense Department headquarters that was breached by the jet. People saw one old brick embedded in the new construction, charred black from the burning jet fuel and etched with the date of the attack.

Marchers made their way toward the National Mall, site of an afternoon concert by country singer Clint Black.

Gordon England, the acting deputy defense secretary, noted the crystal clear day in remarks outside the Pentagon. "But I also remember four years ago was a beautiful day," he said, "and of course it turned into a very dark and fateful day for the world."

Bush observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., timed with the first hijacked plane's impact at the World Trade Center, in a ceremony on the White House South Lawn.

9-11 Rembrance At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO

9-11 Rembrance At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO

9-11 Rembrance At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO

9-11 Rembrance At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
Above Photos Courtesy of Holly, 11 September 2005

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Richard Myers, salute during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery marking the
anniversary of the 2001 Sept. 11 terror attacks, Sunday, September 11, 2005

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
Richard Myers,right, salute during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery marking the commemoration of
the September Eleventh anniversary, Sunday, September 11, 2005

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
Richard Myers,right, attend a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery marking the 
commemoration of the September Eleventh anniversary, Sunday, September 11, 2005

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (L) and U.S. Air Force General Richard Myers,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stand for the national anthem before laying a wreath at the
Pentagon Group Burial Marker at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia September 11, 2005.

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
Air Force General Richard Myers (R), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (2nd R, blocked by Myers) lay a wreath at the Pentagon Group Burial Marker at
the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, September 11, 2005.

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
A rose rests on at the Pentagon Group Burial Marker at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia September 11, 2005.
The monument bears the names of those people who died when American Airlines flight 77 hit the Pentagon on
September 11, 2001. Four years after the September 11 attacks, the United States briefly shifted
focus on Sunday from its latest disaster -- Hurricane Katrina -- to memorials for victims of the hijacked-plane strikes in New York,

9-11 Remembrance At Arlington National Cemetery - 9-11-05
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, center, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
Richard Myers, right, lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery marking the anniversary of the 2001
September 11 terror attacks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005

POSTED: 11 Septmeber 2005