Obama Pays Tribute To 9/11 Victims At WTC SiteMay 05, 2011
After meeting with 9/11 first responders earlier today, President Barack Obama joined victims’ families for a symbolic wreath laying ceremony at the World Trade Center site, marking the death of attack mastermind Osama bin Laden.
It was his first visit to the site as commander-in-chief.During the solemn ceremony President Obama laid two wreaths; one at the site where the Twin Towers fell, and one at the foot of the Survivor Tree, which sustained damage during the attack but was later freed from the rubble. He then met privately with approximately 50 families whose relatives died in the terror attacks.Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor Andrew Cuomo were among the many elected officials in attendance.The president began his day meeting privately with firefighters at Midtown’s Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9.
Also known as the “Pride of Midtown,” the station lost 15 of its members on September 11, 2001.Following a lunch at the firehouse, the president stopped by a police precinct in Lower Manhattan before heading to the World Trade Center site.As a result of the president’s visit, security measures in and around Manhattan are heightened.
While there are no credible threats against the city, the New York City Police Department has a large uniformed and undercover presence in place.PATH service into and out of the World Trade Center will be suspended while the president is in town.Streets are also subject to closure wherever the president travels.President Obama’s visit comes just hours after his decision not to release photos of bin Laden’s body.
In an interview set to air on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday, the president said there’s no need to “spike the football.”Obama said releasing the photos would not quiet conspiracy theorists and could put American troops overseas at risk.Many Democratic lawmakers agree with the president’s decision to keep the photos sealed.
“The one side — release the pictures because they would put to bed conspiracy theorists. I don’t think they would. The other was — too many in the world — it might create martyrdom or gloating or whatever. Closed question — and my view is deferral to the president, and to the military and civilians advisers who came to this decision, after thinking a lot about it, is appropriate,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the president believes DNA and facial analysis provide enough proof, and that his primary concern is the safety of all Americans both here and abroad.