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Obama hails resilience of Americans

President Barack Obama honoured the legacy of September 11 victims by personally tracing the trail of the terrorist attacks, proudly declaring that the decade since has proven "America does not give in to fear".

At Ground Zero, Mr Obama stood in solidarity with president George W Bush right where hijacked airliners smashed into the twin World Trade Centre towers in 2001.

He touched the names of those etched into a bronze memorial amid the rush of its striking waterfalls.

In a field in western Pennsylvania, Mr Obama strolled along a marbled Wall of Names that stands in tribute to the 40 people who crashed in Shanksville after fighting back against the terrorists. Mr Obama seemed to shake the hand of every person he could reach.

In the rebuilt Pentagon just outside the US capital, the symbol of US military might attacked by terrorists that day, Mr Obama placed a wreath at a memorial where each of 184 victims is remembered. A brass quartet played a soulful rendition of Amazing Grace.

And finally, back in Washington, after a day he chose to mark mainly by quiet presence, the president spoke of the pride of a nation.

"These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear," he said. Nor to suspicion or mistrust or sacrificed values, he said.

"Our people still work in skyscrapers," Mr Obama said during a ceremony centred on American hope and resilience.

"Our stadiums are still filled with fans, and our parks full of children playing ball ...This land pulses with the optimism of those who set out for distant shores, and the courage of those who died for human freedom."

During the day, fighter jets escorted two flights - one to New York City, another to Detroit - after passengers' use of the bathrooms aroused suspicions. In both instances, the FBI said the jets shadowed the planes "out of an abundance of caution".

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