America remembers fallen on 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks - FOX 32 News Chicago

PHOTOS: America remembers the fallen on 9/11 anniversary

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

People around the nation paused for a moment Tuesday morning to reflect on the tragic events of 9/11 on the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks.

FOX's Craig Boswell reported on commemorative events planned in New York at Ground Zero.

Security for the 11th anniversary could not be tighter in New York City. There have been no threats reported, but federal authorities said they are concerned about potential extremist activity.

President Obama spoke at the Pentagon Tuesday morning to mark 11 years since the attacks, and to honor the lives lost on that tragic day.

President Obama laid a wreath at the Pentagon, during the memorial. Ceremonies were also held in New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and across the country.

The president and First Lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence on the White House south lawn Tuesday.

Meanwhile Republican challenger Mitt Romney is set to address the National Guard later on Tuesday.

Vice President Joe Biden attended a memorial service in Shanksville, Penn., where passengers brought down a plane that had been hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists.

United flight 93 crashed in a field about 50-miles west of Pittsburgh.

Thousands gathered at the Shanksville memorial to remember those who were lost. Forty lanterns were lit to honor the fallen passengers and crew.

President Obama and Mitt Romney also put politics aside on Tuesday.

They're taking down their negative ads in honor of the 11th anniversary, and out of respect for those who lost their lives that day.

Illinois has lost more than 300 servicemen and women since Sept. 11, 2001.

Governor Quinn marked Patriot Day at Archer Heights Library, with a memorial honoring those men and women.

The firefighters' memorial took place at the Chicago stockyards Tuesday.

It's hard to believe that 11 years has passed since that day - the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history.

Many first responders from Chicago answered the call for help and headed out east. They dropped whatever it was they were doing, didn't matter what it was, and they started heading east.

More than 100 Chicago firefighters made it to Ground Zero within 24 hours of attack, some even before that. Lieutenant Kevin Abdullah and Firefighter Tim O'Brien remember that day, and said nothing and no one could have stopped them from helping their New York City comrades.

"I was on my way to work," O'Brien said. "I couldn't believe it. I had to stop my car. I got out and said, ‘My god, we're under attack. This is world war three starting right now.'"

Abdullah was originally from New York.

"I left New York in 1974 and came here," Abdullah said. "I had just [gotten] relieved. I was home. I got a call from my mother, who said I needed to look at the news. As I looked at the news, I saw the planes were hitting the building."

He described the scene upon reaching the site as a pile of debris, and a pungent odor in the air.

"Being from New York, I had visited the World Trade Center," Abdullah said. "So when I went into that area, it was pretty horrific. As far as the eye could see, there was damage done everywhere from the towers going down."

Abdullah and O'Brien said to this day, they remain friends with some of their comrades in New York City. They have started a bit of a tradition.

Every summer and fall, they get together. The Chicago Fire Department plays the New York City Fire Department, either in a game of baseball or football.

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