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Obama at 9/11 museum dedication: No act of terror can match strength of US



By JONATHAN LEMIRE and JENNIFER PELTZ

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Barack Obama praised the new Sept. 11 museum on Thursday as "a sacred place of healing and of hope" that captures both the story and the spirit of heroism and helpfulness that followed the attacks.

"It's an honor to join in your memories, to recall and to reflect, but above all to reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11 - love, compassion, sacrifice - and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation," he told an audience of victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and recovery workers at the ground zero museum's dedication ceremony.

"Like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us. Nothing can change who we are as Americans."

After viewing some of the exhibits, including a mangled fire truck and a memorial wall with photos of victims, the president touched on some of the many stories of courage amid the chaos: the passengers who stormed a hijacked plane's cockpit over a Pennsylvania field and first responders who rushed into the burning twin towers. He also honored military members "who have served with honor in more than a decade of war."

He focused especially on the story of Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old World Trade Center worker and former volunteer firefighter who became known as "the man in the red bandanna" after he led other workers to safety from the trade center's stricken south tower. He died in the tower's collapse.

One of the red bandannas he made a habit of carrying is in the museum, and Crowther's mother, Alison, told the audience she hoped it would remind visitors "how people helped each other that day, and that they will be inspired to do the same in ways both big and small. This is the true legacy of Sept. 11."

By her side was Ling Young, one of the people Welles Crowther rescued.

"It was very hard for me to come here today," but she wanted to thank his parents, she said.

Before the ceremony, Obama walked quietly through an expansive hall with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. First lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following behind them.

The museum, which commemorates the 2001 terrorist attack, as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, opens to the public on May 21.

Reflections from dignitaries - including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani - were interspersed with the voices of everyday people caught up in Sept. 11.

Retired Fire Department Lt. Mickey Cross described being trapped for hours in the wreckage of the north tower - and then joining the recovery effort after being rescued. "There was a real sense of caring for each other," he said.

Ada Dolch, a school principal whose sister died at the trade center, recalled turning her grief into inspiration to open a school in Afghanistan. "What a kick in the head to Osama bin Laden!" she said.

Kayla Bergeron remembered walking down 68 flights of stairs in the north tower, amid confusion and fear that there was no way out. Her final steps to safety were on an outdoor stairway, now in the museum as the "survivors' stairs."

"Today, when I think about those stairs, what they represent to me is resiliency," she said.

By turns chilling and heartbreaking, the ground zero museum leads people on an unsettling journey through the terrorist attacks, with forays into their lead up and legacy.

There are scenes of horror, including videos of the skyscrapers collapsing and people falling from them. But there also are symbols of heroism, ranging from damaged fire trucks to the wristwatch of one of the airline passengers who confronted the hijackers.

The museum and memorial plaza above, which opened in 2011, were built for $700 million in donations and tax dollars.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
thaliamerazai May 15 2014 at 3:17 PM

I call B.S

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Jim Russell May 15 2014 at 3:34 PM

aol...why is the news photo of Obamacare and not the building???????????????????????

Flag Reply +6 rate up
renner1234 May 15 2014 at 3:35 PM

The only story I want to hear from Obama is how he is going to provide a pro-growth agenda and porduce the results that will help all Americans.

Tired of hearing his lies.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
teeveequeen May 15 2014 at 3:35 PM

Howdy Dowdy speaks ...

but NO ONE LISTENS

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
mathomps teeveequeen May 15 2014 at 3:36 PM

Except for the majority of the world.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
teeveequeen mathomps May 15 2014 at 3:40 PM

you obviously mean the World of MAD Magazine ...

Flag +1 rate up
junior mathomps May 15 2014 at 4:03 PM

tevee, the only mad one on here is you and the faux channel you can't tune away from.

Flag 0 rate up
thomashollman19 teeveequeen May 15 2014 at 3:54 PM

THE WORLD OF SHEEP STANDS BEFORE HIM HE'S WEARING HIS SHEEP BOOTS AS HE STANDS BEHIND HIS SHEEP ONE AT A TIME HE GETS TO THEM ALL PUTTING THIER RIGHT REAR LEG IN HIS RIGHT BOOT AND THIER LEFT REAR LEG IN HIS LEFT BOOT NOW YOU GOT THE PICTURE

Flag Reply +2 rate up
kms1230 May 15 2014 at 3:36 PM

Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bill DeBlasio...what a classless, motley crew. They aren't worth the traffic jams their presence create.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
7 replies
debnaert May 15 2014 at 3:36 PM

Strength of the USA???????????? He single handedly DISABLED out Military! He is a moron!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
Phil debnaert May 15 2014 at 3:57 PM

He is not a moron as you so eloquently pointed out but he is a cold ,calculating pathological liar. He knows what he wants, The destruction of America. So far he has been doing a great job at that! Justwatch as he fools everyone with his lying attempts. He has always laughed at the fools who bought his worthlees bill of goods. He and all his Islamists thank them. Hope to change to a muslim world.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
hanlon1212 debnaert May 15 2014 at 3:59 PM

Wrong administration moron .

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jimormarylosc May 15 2014 at 3:37 PM

our revenge is not over. renew, our zeal to take out the terrorist groups still enjoying freedom. chase them to hell and back. let all enemy nations fear our resolve, attact us and we will A bomb you into sand.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
BUSHWACKED jimormarylosc May 15 2014 at 3:43 PM

Do that and say goodbye to humankind !

Flag Reply +1 rate up
oldhorsema jimormarylosc May 15 2014 at 3:54 PM

Revenge and Zeal are great if used in the right places. Revenge for those who want revenge for 9/11 heros bur Iraqis seeking justice for familes and friends Bush murdered are terrorists

Flag Reply 0 rate up
debnaert May 15 2014 at 3:38 PM

TERM LIMITS IN OUR GOVERNMENT! 6 years for a president and 6 years for all the others! PERIOD! Stand up Americans AND force them to pass this law!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
thomashollman19 May 15 2014 at 3:39 PM

WHY NOT HAVE THIS PHONY IMPERSONATOR STAND IN FRONT OF THE SINKHOLE IN FLORIDA FOR A PHOTO OP IT COULD REPRESENT EVERYTHING HE AND HIS OLD LADY STAND FOR IN THIS COUNTRY FROM THE BLACK COMMUNITY TO THE ECONOMY IT COULD BE THE NEW DEMOCRATIC SYMBOL FOR THE PARTY PERFECT FOR THAT LOSER THAT FROZE UP IN BENGAZI CAUSING THE DEATHS OF THE 4 AMERICANS

Flag Reply +6 rate up
5 replies
rsbuttery May 15 2014 at 3:40 PM

Everyone knows he is an empty suit. He comands no respect expect from his coolade dinking fools. Putin shows the lie that he is in comand of anything. 2 and a half can not come soon enough. Carter was a great president compared to this ...............

Flag Reply +3 rate up
3 replies
aol~~ 1209600

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