Bells tolled this morning in lower Manhattan as family members once again recited the names of victims killed in the 9/11 terror attacks, but seven years after four planes were hijacked and made into deadly weapons, memorials around the world have been much more subdued this year.
The memorial at the World Trade Center was attended by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. David Paterson. Sen. John McCain first attended a memorial service in Shanksville, PA, where United Flight 93 crashed after being hijacked.
He later joined Sen. Barack Obama at Ground Zero where the Republican and Democrat walked down a ramp to the site where the World Trade Center once stood, and threw flowers into a reflecting pool.
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Cindy McCain and Bloomberg accompanied the two candidates, and Obama and McCain greeted family members of the victims.
Unlike in the years immediately following the attacks, when memorial services were given wall-to-wall media coverage, the attention after seven years has somewhat dissipated. At Ground Zero in Manhattan, the streets surrounding the hole that exposes bedrock of the towers have been closed and attendance at the ceremony was largely restricted to family members.
Around the world, 200 concerts were being held to mark 9/11 as a day to "celebrate the universal humanity" we all share. Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown called President Bush to pledge the continuing support of the British people for America, before attending the concert in London's Grosvenor Square.