The announcement of this year’s plans were made today at the White House by administration spokesman Robert Gibbs. He also said that Vice President Joe Biden will head the administration’s delegation at ground zero in New York, while first lady Michelle Obama, as previously announced, will travel to Shanksville, Pa., to attend the memorial ceremony there. She will be accompanied by former first lady Laura Bush.
Observances across the country will honor those who died in what is described as the worst terror attack on the U.S. in its history. On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 hijackers intentionally crashed two passenger jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York, killing all those on board and many others who were at work in the center’s two towers. Shortly after that, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon, killing everyone on board and people working there, as well. A fourth plane crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania after some passengers and crewmembers struggled to retake the plane from the hijackers. In all, the death toll was almost 3,000 people.
This will be the second year Obama will speak at the Pentagon’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony. In 2008, just before his election, he attended the observance at ground zero in New York along with his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.