* Amid commemorations, high security is evident
* Obama visits New York, Shanksville, to visit Pentagon
* Names of dead read at Ground Zero in emotional event
(Updates with Shanksville event, details throughout, edits)
By Mark Egan, Basil Katz and Steve Holland
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Children yearned for lost
parents and grown men and women sobbed in raw grief on the hard
stone bearing the names of nearly 3,000 dead as America
commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The name of every person killed in al Qaeda's hijacked
plane attacks was read on Sunday in the nearly five-hour-long
centerpiece of a heart-wrenching ceremony where the World Trade
Center twin towers stood.
"I haven't stopped missing my Dad. He was awesome," said
Peter Negron, a child when his father, Pete, was killed in one
of the towers. "I wish my Dad had been there to teach me how to
drive, ask a girl out on a date and see me graduate from high
school and a hundred other things I can't even begin to name."
There were smaller ceremonies in Shanksville, Pennsylvania
and at the Pentagon outside Washington, the other sites were 19
men from the Islamic militant group al Qaeda crashed hijacked
airliners on the sunny Tuesday morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
The attacks led U.S. forces to invade Afghanistan to topple
the Taliban rulers who had harbored al Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden and Washington began a "war on terror" that ousted Iraq's
Saddam Hussein and persists on several fronts to this day.
"Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning
turned into the blackest of nights," New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg said at New York's Ground Zero.
"Since then, we've lived in sunshine and in shadow, and
although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see
that children who lost their parents have grown into young
adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public
service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost."
Thousands gathered at the site on a clear morning to
grieve. With security tight and no traffic, there was an eerie
silence where the 110-storey skyscrapers collapsed a decade
ago, sending a noxious cloud over lower Manhattan.
President Barack Obama, who was set to visit all three
attack sites Sunday, read from Psalm 46 in New York: "God is
our refuge and strength."
The ceremony -- with the wail of bagpipes, youthful voices
singing the national anthem and firefighters holding aloft a
tattered American flag retrieved from Ground Zero -- drew
tears. Family members wore T-shirts with the faces of the dead,
carried photos, flowers and flags in an outpouring of emotion.
For the first time, relatives saw the just-finished
memorial and touched the stone where the names of their dead
loved ones were etched. Some left flowers, others small teddy
bears. Some used pencils to rub the names on paper, some took
pictures, others leaned against the stone and cried.
The names of the dead were read by wives and husbands,
fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and children, some choked
with emotion at their personal loss.
"May your soul finally rest in peace. Your son Nathan and
I, as the years go by, grow strong. Goodbye, my dear friend, my
teacher and my hero," said Candy Glazer.
Glazer's husband, Edmund Glazer, cheerfully called his wife
from Flight 11 not long before he died when the plane hit the
north tower -- the first of that day's horrific events.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks claimed the lives of people
from more than 90 countries. They were followed by al Qaeda
bombing assaults in London, Madrid and elsewhere and brought an
international campaign aimed at ferreting out their members.
"God bless every soul that we lost," said former New York
City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who was called "America's mayor"
for his leadership after the attacks.
At the Pentagon ceremony, Vice President Joe Biden said,
"Al Qaeda and bin Laden never imagined that the 3,000 people
who lost their lives that day would inspire 3 million to put on
the uniform, and harden the resolve of 300 million Americans."
"SO MANY NAMES ..."
The New York memorial includes two plazas in the shape of
the footprints of the twin towers with cascading 30 foot
waterfalls. Around the perimeters of pools in the
center of each plaza are the names of the victims of the Sept.
11 attacks and an earlier 1993 attack at the trade center.
Obama visited the North Memorial Pool, which sits in the
footprint of the north tower. He walked around it hand-in-hand
with first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush
and his wife, Laura.
The president touched the etched names of the dead before
he greeted some family members.
"So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the
heart," said former New York Governor George Pataki, reading
from the Billy Collins poem "The Names."
Police in New York and Washington were on high alert
against a "credible but unconfirmed" threat of an al Qaeda plot
to attack the United States again on the 10th anniversary.
At Shanksville, Obama laid at a wreath where a plane
crashed after passengers overwhelmed hijackers intent of
hitting the White House or U.S. Capitol. Chants of "USA, USA"
broke out from the crowd, gathered at the foot of a grassy
hill. The Obamas talked at length with family members. "Thank
you for keeping us safe," one man yelled out to him.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said the passengers on
Flight 93 -- remembered forever in Todd Beamer's "Let's roll"
rallying cry -- "set a new standard for American bravery."
Pope Benedict prayed for Sept. 11 victims and appealed to
those with grievances to "always reject violence."
In May, nearly a decade after Sept. 11, U.S. forces killed
al Qaeda founder bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan. The
attacks prompted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the
Pentagon still has a large number of troops and where violence
"The 9/11 attacks were the beginning of a long winter in
world history," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
said in Brussels. "But events in the Middle East have renewed
our faith that although the desire for freedom can be
repressed, it can never be extinguished. The Arab spring is a
new season of hope for us all."
Sunday's Ground Zero ceremony had moments of silence
marking when the planes hit the twin towers as well as when
they collapsed. Other moments of silence marked when a plane
hit the Pentagon and another crashed in Shanksville.
After a faltering start, there are signs of rebuilding
progress at the World Trade Center. The new One World Trade
Center rises more than 80 stories above the ground as it inches
to its planned 1,776-foot height -- symbolic of the
year of America's independence from Britain.
For many -- particularly the more than 1,100 families who
received no remains of their dead -- Sunday was the closest
they came to a funeral for loved ones. With the memorial
complete, it offered for the first time something resembling a
final resting place and a formal place to mourn.
"When we came out here 10 years ago there was a hole in the
earth and that's how we felt," said Dakota Hale, 25, of Denver,
who lost his stepfather, flight attendant Alfred Marchand.
"Now, 10 years later there is grass and water, and it feels
kind of like a new beginning."
(Writing by Mark Egan, additional reporting by Ellen
Wulfhorst; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
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