A look at events marking the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks:
NEW YORK CITY
In New York, the annual commemoration has changed little over the years. But so much around it has. The museum now sits open at the site of the tragedy. The fences have come down around the memorial plaza, making it more easily accessible to visitors and passers-through. A new mayor is in office, Bill de Blasio, one less linked to the attacks and their aftermath than his predecessors. And One World Trade Center is nearly complete and set to open later this year.
A few minutes before 9 a.m., Obama emerged from the White House with his wife, Michelle, and Vice President Joe Biden to observe a moment of silence marking the anniversary. He offered reasons for optimism in brief remarks at the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial. "Thirteen years after small and hateful minds conspired to break us, America stands tall and America stands proud," he said. He did not mention the administration's new plan, announced hours earlier, to step up military and diplomatic action against a new upsurge in Islamic terror.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert gave the flag that flew atop the U.S. Capitol on 9/11 to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, saying the building might not still be standing if the plane's passengers and crew had not rebelled against four hijackers. Hastert spoke at a ceremony in the field where the United Airlines plane crashed and 40 were killed.
A commemoration was held at the Statehouse, during which participants read the names of more than 200 attack victims with ties to Massachusetts. During the ceremony, a civilian bravery award named after 9/11 flight attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney was given to Michael DeSousa, who left his car and rushed into a burning building to alert residents to a fire.
Hundreds of firefighters and others paid tribute to the first responders killed in the attacks by climbing the stairs at Red Rocks outdoor amphitheater. Participants, some wearing their fire gear, walked up and down the steps and around Denver-area venue nine times. Organizers say the elevation gain is the equivalent of climbing 110 stories — the height of the Twin Towers.
A large marble sculpture commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks was set to be dedicated at Purdue University North Central in Westville. Campus Chancellor James Dworkin calls the sculpture a moving reminder of an event that must never be forgotten. The sculpture will remain on permanent outdoor display on the campus about 25 miles west of Gary.
Former President George W. Bush said he had a "moment of clarity" while listening to a young girl read in a Florida classroom as his chief of staff whispered to him that the second tower of the World Trade Center had been struck by an airliner on Sept. 11, 2001. Bush says he knew that from then on, it would be his job to protect the girl, her family and their community. The former president spoke Thursday at a college scholarship luncheon in Cleveland, an event that coincided with the 13th anniversary of 9/11.