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Solemn tributes mark 9/11's fifth anniversary

Story Highlights

NEW: Speech praises 9/11 heroes, talks of need to win war on terror
• President exchanges handshakes, hugs at Pentagon ceremony
• Bush, first lady lay wreath at Pennsylvania crash site
• Cheney, Rumsfeld attend ceremony at Pentagon
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(CNN) -- Five years after the worst terrorist attack on American soil, President Bush on Monday saluted the nearly 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, 2001.

On a drizzly, chilly day near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Bush exchanged hugs and greetings with people who lost family members onboard United Airlines Flight 93.

That airliner crashed in a field after passengers fought back against four hijackers who were steering the plane toward Washington -- the fourth commercial jet destroyed that morning in 2001.

The president and first lady Laura Bush laid a wreath at the site in tribute.

In New York, families and friends who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center gathered at Ground Zero for a solemn ceremony.

The commemoration included four moments of silence -- two for the times that hijacked planes hit the twin towers and two for when the burning buildings collapsed into mountains of rubble, killing thousands of people working there and first responders who were trying to rescue them. (Watch family members observe moment of silence -- :50)

"We've come back to remember the valor of those we lost, those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.

The ceremony also included the reading of the names of the 2,749 victims at the trade center site by about 200 of their spouses, partners and significant others.

The first moment of silence came at 8:46 a.m. ET, the moment American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the trade center's north tower; followed at 9:03 a.m., when United Flight 175 struck the south tower; then at 9:59 a.m., when the south tower fell; and finally at 10:29 a.m., when the north tower collapsed.

The Bushes had breakfast with first responder personnel at a New York firehouse before attending the ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11. The president and first lady had laid wreaths in reflecting pools at Ground Zero on Sunday.

After the Shanksville ceremony, the Bushes went to the Pentagon for a wreath-laying ceremony and exchanged handshakes and hugs with survivors of those who died there. (Full story)

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney attended a morning ceremony at the Pentagon, where another hijacked passenger plane struck on 9/11. (Watch a CNN reporter's recollections of that day -- 1:19)

Cheney spoke about what he called the lessons of the terrorist attacks.

"We've learned that oceans do not protect us and threats that gather thousands of miles away can now find us here at home," he said. "We have learned that there is a certain kind of enemy whose ambitions have no limits and whose cruelty is only fed by the grief of others."

He added, "This struggle is fierce, and it will be lengthy, but it is not endless. Our cause is right. Our will is strong. This great nation will prevail."

The president on Monday night gave a televised address to the nation from the Oval Office in which he called the war on terrorism "a struggle for civilization." (Full story)

Bush talked about the ongoing war on terror launched after the 9/11 attacks:

"America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. ... the war ... will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious," the prepared text reads.

Bush also praised the heroes of 9/11 in his remarks.

"On 9/11, our nation saw the face of evil. Yet on that awful day, we also witnessed something distinctly American: ordinary citizens rising to the occasion, and responding with extraordinary acts of courage," the text of the speech reads.

An estimated 2,973 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

The death toll from the twin towers included 87 passengers aboard Flight 11 and 60 on Flight 175. Among the dead were 60 police officers and 343 firefighters who responded to the scene.

9/11 panel chief: 'So much left undone'

In Washington, 9/11 commission Chairman Thomas Kean bemoaned that only about half of his panel's 41 recommendations have been passed.

"Five years later, there is still so much left undone that ought to be done," Kean told the National Press Club on Monday.

"What happened? How come they're not passed? How come the country isn't moving further on these things?"

Lee Hamilton, the panel's vice chairman, said the government does not do a good job of looking back.

Hamilton also urged Congress to pass all of the committee's recommendations.

Many of them, such as the allocation of money on basis of risk, and correction of the inability of police and fire departments to talk to each other at disaster scenes, are "no-brainers," he said.

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, a lengthy video statement from al Qaeda called on Muslims to step up their resistance to the United States and warned that "new events" are on the way. (Full story)


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President Bush talks to the loved ones of those who died on United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

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