May 5th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Obama visits ground zero; honors 9/11 victims

New York (CNN) - Six picture frames hang inside a firehouse in Manhattan, each displaying a photograph of a man who died in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

"We always say never forget," said one firefighter from New York's Engine 23.

He said President Barack Obama's visit to New York was an acknowledgement of "what we're going through."

"This is what New York is going through," said the man, who didn't want to share his name.

After nearly a decade of war prompted by the horrific events of September 11, 2001, Obama traveled to Manhattan Thursday to meet with 9/11 survivors and lay a wreath at ground zero, four days after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"I wanted to just come up here to thank you," Obama said in prepared remarks, after eating lunch with firefighters and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. "This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day almost 10 years ago."

The president visited with members of Fire Engine 54, Battalion Nine, which lost 15 men after al Qaeda hijackers flew two commercial airliners into the World Trade Center's twin towers.

"Obviously we can't bring back your friends that were lost," he said. "I know that each and every one of you not only grieve for them, but have also over the last 10 years dealt with their family."

The men of Engine 54 left behind 28 children, collectively.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. d smith

    I think the praise of the fire fighters is wonderful. They deserve it. I would like to hear more the doctors nurses and e.m.t.s who reponded on 9/11. The seem to be a forgotten group yet they too served at that time.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm |