WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama paid a visit to "hallowed ground" at the Pentagon to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Saturday.
He said it might be natural to focus on the searing images from "that awful morning" in 2001 when al-Qaida struck the US and so many lives "were taken so cruelly."
The president made clear in his remarks Saturday that the US is not at war with Islam. And he denigrated the al-Qaida attackers as "a sorry band of men" who perverted religion.
Obama said their goal was to divide and demoralize Americans. But he said "we will never hand them that victory."
He called this a day of remembrance and reflection — as well as a day of unity and renewal.