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The nation paused on Sept. 11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks in American history.

In  Lower Manhattan, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush visited ground zero together to mark the occasion, touring the National September 11 Memorial and paying their respects to those killed in the attacks.

The memorial, which opened to the public the following day, includes two large pools at the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers and bronze parapets inscribed with the names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks and in the February 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center.

Obama also went to Shanksville, Pa., where he was greeted with applause and chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

He later traveled to the Pentagon.

For the readers of Stars and Stripes, most of whom are members of the military, veterans or family members, the anniversary carried personal impact, as it marks a full decade at war for the all-volunteer military.

Hundreds of readers, in print and online, shared their stories of service and sacrifice in a special section titled “Why You Fight.”

Many troops and veterans said they’d enlisted, re-upped or returned to the military as a result of the attacks.

murphyjrb@stripes.osd.milTwitter: @BillMurphyJr

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