Obama pays somber respects at 9/11 ground zero - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Obama pays somber respects at 9/11 ground zero

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NEW YORK - President Obama laid a wreath Thursday at New York's ground zero to honor the victims of the September 11th terror attacks. The president also visited with firefighters, police officers and family members of those killed in New York on 9/11.

The president, along with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, first went to the firehouse hit hardest on 9/11. Engine 54 lost 15 men.

"When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say," Obama said.

The president never said "Osama bin Laden," but he praised the Navy Seals he sent to get him.

"They were doing it in part because of the sacrifices that were made in the States. They were doing it in the name of your brothers that were lost," said the president.

Christopher Santora was working out of this firehouse on 9/11, and was killed in the collapse. His parents were invited to join the president.

"He acted as the commander-in-chief and I'm very proud to be an American and he did the right thing," said Alexander Santora.

"Obviously he paid close attention and made a decision that could have cost him seriously had it not worked out," said Maureen Santora.

The president stopped at the NYPD station whose officers were the first to rush to the World Trade Center.

Broker Peter Ortale was one of 3,000 who died that day. His sister came up from Philadelphia.

"It brings up everything, all the images, all the pictures, the reliving for my family because we never really had any closure," said Mary Malitas. 

Now she says she does have closure.

At ground zero, President Obama paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 dead. This whole week is a powerful flashback.

"I'm just so happy. I'm kind of emotional right now. When I heard they got bin Laden, I was in tears," said Al Smith, New York bus driver.

Few focused on details of the raid or the death photo. Osama bin Laden is dead and for many in New York a chapter has been closed.

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