Surprise Memorial: Columbia Neighborhood Wakes To Touching Tribute
COLUMBIA - Residents of Columbia's Stonecrest neighborhood say they were surprised and touched by a surprise memorial to the 9/11 attacks this morning.
A couple who lives in the neighborhood put more than 30 full-sized American flags in their neighbor's lawns, each labeled with the name of a soldier who died in military service.
"When I looked at the street and saw the flags, I was breathless, but I had a smile on my face because it was just so pretty and nice. And I knew it was a memorial effort by someone," Pam Sisson, a neighbor, said.
The touching local tribute was one of many ways Americans paused to mark the largest terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil nine years ago Saturday.
On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked four planes, crashing them into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,900 and injuring more than 6,000 more.
New Yorkers stopped to observe a moment of silence as bells tolled Saturday morning. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and current mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Vice President Joe Biden in New York for the memorial.
President Obama marked the attacks at the Pentagon, where he placed a wreath at the site of the attacks.
"[The attackers] may wish to drive us apart, but we will not give in to their hatred and prejudice," the president said.
First lady Michelle Obama joined former First Lady Laura Bush in Pennsylvania, honoring those who died in the crash of the hijacked United Airlines flight that crashed on 9/11.
A permanent memorial to the victims is currently under construction. The first phase should be completed by the tenth anniversary of the attacks next year.