Obama travels to Ground Zero to honor victims

Following bin Laden's death, US president will participate in wreath-laying ceremony at 9/11 Memorial, meet with families of some of those killed.

Obama Mourning 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Obama Mourning 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – In the celebratory wake of US forces’ killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday, US President Barack Obama will travel to New York on Thursday to commemorate bin Laden’s victims.
Obama will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the September 11 Memorial, and will meet with family members of some of those killed by the terrorist attacks in 2001. The president will also meet with members of the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department who were first responders at the scene as World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed after being hit by planes hijacked by al- Qaida terrorists.
RELATED:Photo gallery: Revelers celebrate death of bin LadenWhite House declines to release photo of dead bin Laden
Former US president George W. Bush declined an invitation from Obama to attend the New York ceremony to mark the killing of bin Laden, Bush's office said.
"He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight," said Bush spokesman David Sherzer.
Sunday night, after Obama made his television announcement of bin Laden’s death, the intersection of Church and Vesey streets in downtown Manhattan – streets that used to be in the shadow of the Twin Towers – were full of jubilant celebrants. They climbed on street signs and each other’s shoulders to sing the national anthem, hug, wave American flags and otherwise celebrate the death of the mastermind of the deadliest terror attack on American soil.
Reuters contributed to this report