In the years since September 11, 2001, thousands of survivors have walked the difficult path of recovery.
At the World Trade Center alone, epicenter of the terrorist attacks that unfolded in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, an estimated 12,000 people emerged from the twin towers alive. Coping has varied widely. Some moved forward anchored by faith, fortitude, or family. Others struggle with a healing process that remains painful, drawn out, and elusive.
President Obama has issued A Presidential Proclamation -- Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.
You can read the full proclamation HERE
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks left deep, lasting scars that will be acknowledged today in commemorations at Ground Zero in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., the sites where terrorists crashed four hijacked commercial airliners. But on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, there are signs of a gradual desensitization to the tragedy's once-piercing wounds.
Wednesday marks the fifth year since Congress declared 9/11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance, a designation that was news to about a quarter of Americans in a Horizon Consumer Science survey.
Yet the public's overall interest in 9/11 and honoring those who died doesn't appear to be waning, just shifting, as people commemorate an anniversary once steeped in sadness and anxiety in a variety of ways. Some tributes are attached to positive, uplifting emotions, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen or doing some other charitable act.
Though two in three Americans say they've "moved on" from the horror of Sept. 11, nearly the same percentage say they will mark 9/11 in a formal or informal manner such as attending a memorial or saying a prayer.
Yet, as one looks forward, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, One World Trade Center, Now soaring at its symbolic 1,776 feet, 1 World Trade Center is nearly done.
At Wednesday's ceremony on the 2-year-old memorial plaza, relatives will recite the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., as well as the 1993 trade center bombing victims' names. Beforehand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, musician Billy Joel, firefighters and others are expected to join in a tribute motorcycle ride from a Manhattan firehouse to ground zero.