Video: 'They gave the entire country an incalculable gift'

  1. Closed captioning of: 'They gave the entire country an incalculable gift'

    >>> eve of the 9/11 anniversary, we are seeing this place with fresh eyes. no longer the scarred battleground for which the term ground zero seemed so fitting, but rather now, a symbol of rebirth. as a new tower soars into the sky and above a lasting tribute to those we lost. you may not remember exactly what you were doing at this time ten years ago, but most of us could describe the next day in excruciating detail. what we were doing, where we were and what we felt as we watched america under attack. tomorrow, families of the victims will gather here. but today, two other presidents were on hand for the first official 9/11 ceremony. it was held in shanksville, pennsylvania. nbc's tamron hall is there to start us off. good evening.

    >> i'm standing in what's known as the circle of embrace and inside that circle is now the permanent memorial dedicated to the passengers and crew members on flight 93 and as one family member put it to me today, this is sacred ground that should be protected and respected.

    >> donald freeman green.

    >> more than 900 family members and others gather to remember those who died on flight 93 .

    >> no memorial. no words. no acts. can fill a void that they left in your hearts.

    >> in the background, a simple, but sturdy reminder of the power of standing together. a boulder that now marks the crash site of flight 93 , the fourth plane to crash, after the passengers took a stand against the terrorists.

    >> what happened above this pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in american history . the memorial we dedicate today will ensure that our nation always remembers those lost here on 9/11.

    >> for the families, this has become a place of serenity.

    >> it's a beautiful place and by being a national park , it will be preserved.

    >> i could have been consumed with anger and hatred and bitterness. but my brother wouldn't have wanted that.

    >> the memorial is on 2,200 acres and will be completed in phases. at the ceremony, former president bill clinton announced an effort to speaker boehner tfor an effort and he spoke of those on the plane.

    >> they gave the entire country an uncal gift. they saved the capitol from attack. they saved god knows how many lives.

    >> for the first time, they read the names of the passengers and crew members etched into an eight-foot granite wall. beyond that wall, hallowed grounds where a nation can come to remember a great sacrifice made by brave americans. tomorrow, president obama will join the family members in a wreath laying ceremony here and then on monday, after ten years, the unidentified remains of some of the victims on that flight will finally be laid to rest. it will be an emotional weekend for these families and they know that the nation is with them. lester?

    >> tamron hall starting us off from shanksville tonight. thank you.

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