Local Leads: 9/11 Ceremonies - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 9/11 Ceremonies

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    The man in charge of the huge emergency response to the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 says it's important to remember that terrible day.   "I think we all as Americans, need... those images conjured up every once and a while because they are part of our history, they are important reminders of where we've been and probably where we're even going. Not that we are inviting those kinds of catastrophes, those kinds of disasters on a regular basis," says Arlington County Fire Chief Jim Schwartz.   "The more we can think about those images the more we can think about what we did in previous challenges, maybe the better prepared we'll be for the next one," he says.   Schwartz passes by the Pentagon every day. "Every time I look at it, it still looks the same to me as it did that morning. I can still see the visions of the gash in the building, the column of smoke, the casualties laying out on the West Lawn," Schwartz says.

    A Florida pastor says his church will never burn a Quran, even if a mosque is built near ground zero. Pastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks over plans to build an Islamic center near where terrorists brought down the World Trade Center nine years ago.   He flew to New York and appeared on NBC's "Today" show. He says that his Gainesville, Fla., church's goal was "to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical."  He tells NBC that "we have definitely accomplished that mission."

    The Washington Redskins regular season opener Sunday night at FedEx Field will raise the curtain on a new coach, a new quarterback, new offensive and defensive schemes and a new and improved stadium.  Hosting the archrival Dallas Cowboys will give recently acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb his first taste of regular season Redskins mania. Likewise, the rabid faithful will experience an updated fan experience as Fed Ex Field rolls out a number of improvements.  New 100-foot long high-definition video boards have been installed in each endzone of the stadium, and Big Screen Productions has been retained to operate the highlight playback from a newly renovated video control room. The improvements will allow for simultaneous multi-angle game highlights and replays, as well as game graphics and other high-def content.