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Rituals of remembrance ahead of 9/11 anniversary

/ Source: msnbc.com news services

A moment of silence at Ground Zero. Hard hats emblazoned with "Never Forget" stickers in Cleveland. A full-throated reprise of the song "New York, New York" on Broadway.

Nationwide, rituals of remembrance took place and Americans weighed Sept. 11's meaning for them as final preparations were being made Friday for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Here are some of them.

Ground Zero
At 9:08 a.m., hundreds of construction workers stopped work to bow their heads. Several air horns sounded in unison and the normally frantic pace of construction became quiet.

Sing it loud
Celebrities — along with sailors, nuns, drag queens, ballerinas and a Spider-Man — gathered in Times Square on Friday to belt out "New York, New York," the John Kander and Fred Ebb song made famous by Frank Sinatra.

NYPD Officer Daniel Rodriguez also sang an operatic "God Bless America."

The event was put on to support the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance's I Will Campaign, which asks people to observe the anniversary by performing good deeds, supporting charitable causes, volunteering and engaging in acts of compassion.

Sense of loss, grace in Shanksville, Pa.
In this quiet, remote part of western Pennsylvania, people from all over the country came to pay their respects to the passengers and crew of United Flight 93, which crashed into a desolate field nearly 10 years ago.

Courtney Peller (L), 14, Taylor Duffy (C) and Caitlin Rakowski, both 15, look at the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 9, 2011, where United flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001. The US prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)Nicholas Kamm / AFP

Family members of those who died on Flight 93 shed tears Friday, but they also celebrated the spirit of the crash site's guestbook — a rare feeling that people from vastly different walks of life had come together.

"I don't focus on what happened. You can't change that," said Lorne Lyles, whose wife, CeeCee Ross Lyles, had been working as a United Airlines flight attendant for only nine months on that September morning in 2001.

"Coming here is more of a celebratory thing. She's been memorialized," Lyles said. "Just to see the outpouring from all over the world is touching. You really do have some caring people in the world."

Kaiser returns
An Indianapolis rescue dog boarded a plane for New York, marking the canine's first time back since September 2001, when he became a hero at Ground Zero, NBC affiliate WTRH-TV reported.

Ten years ago, Kaiser was part of the FEMA search and rescue team, one of four dogs dispatched from Indiana to the World Trade Center in New York, WTRH reported.

Three hundred dogs in all assisted in the search and rescue that soon turned into a recovery effort and, even after that, evolved into somewhat of a therapy session.

After his years in search and rescue, Kaiser has settled into being a dog companion — with a break for a very busy weekend.

He was off for New York to guest on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's TV show, with plans to Indiana on Saturday so he can be the grand marshal at Carmel's Dog Day Afternoon and 9/11 tribute on Sunday.

Three horn blasts
In Cleveland, the 200-strong construction crew at the Medical Mart complex showed up to work wearing red, white and blue bandannas. Each worker had also slapped a "Never Forget" sticker on their hard hat.

At 8:45 a.m. and after three horn blasts, workers suspended operations at the $465 million downtown complex, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Somber gathering in Alabama
In Alabaster, residents were asked to bring flowers and notes of encouragement to place at the Veterans Park during a wreath-laying ceremony. The notes will be removed and kept at the city's Fire Department headquarters.

Honoring the day in Washington
In the nation's capital, President Obama issued a proclamation in "tribute to the selfless heroes and innocent victims" of the attacks, declaring Sunday as Patriot Day. "I ask all Americans to join together in serving their communities and neighborhoods in honor of the victims." See the president's full proclamation here.

The House adopted by unanimous consent a resolution declaring Sept. 11 a day of solemn commemoration and declaring that Congress was adjourned in respect for the victims. See a PDF of the resolution here.

Fallout at flight school

A decade after terrorists did the unthinkable, the former owner of the South Florida flight school where two of them trained

told NBCMiami.com

that he’s still paying the price.

“The last ten years have been bad,” says Rudi Dekkers, the former owner of Huffman Aviation, in Venice, where hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi trained before Sept. 11.

Dekkers, now 55, didn’t lose any loved ones in the 9/11 attacks. But he says the financial losses and the losses to his reputation have been staggering. After dealing with government investigations, threats to his life, even a helicopter crash he calls “suspicious,” Dekkers says his life has never been the same.

“I did not realize when Sept. 11 happened, that I was involved,” said Dekkers.

Read the rest of NBCMiami.com's report here.