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It was like America paused for a moment. On the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the nation quietly, almost apolitically, commemorated the victims of terrorism. In addition, there was fear and anxiety. Since the authorities released information on Thursday that Islamists were planning a new assassination attempt in New York or Washington, police have been covering both cities with unprecedented security measures. Every year since September 11, Ground Zero commemorates the 2,983 dead who died in the towers, on board the planes and in the Pentagon. The address of the mayor, the reading of the names - it had all become almost routine. The tenth anniversary commemoration, however, brought disaster closer to New Yorkers than it had in years. With her, the national memorial for the victims at Ground Zero was opened. After a youth choir from Brooklyn sang the national anthem, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for a minute's silence at 8:46 a.m. It was exactly at this time ten years ago that thousands in Manhattan looked on, stunned, like one Boeing 757 of American Airlines raced into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Then President Obama, who stood next to his predecessor George W. Bush on the podium, went to the microphone and read the 46th Psalm: "God is our confidence and strength. A help in the great needs that have hit us." Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., exactly ten years after the second plane crashed into the south tower, there was another silence about Ground Zero. Former President Bush, who, unlike Obama, was greeted with brief applause and a few whistles, read a letter from Abraham Lincoln to a mother who had lost five sons in the American Civil War. The incumbent and former presidents and their wives then spent a few minutes in silence at the memorial; it will be open to the general public from this Monday. Where the twin towers stood, there are now two square pools, from the edges of which water plunges into the depths to disappear into an opening. When the president left the memorial service, the victims' families flocked to the memorial. Along the parapet around the two basins, they searched for relatives among the 3,000 names of the victims from New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They ran their fingers over them and copied them on paper with pencil. It is generally the day of the bereaved. Some are just withdrawn or overwhelmed with grief. Others want to get rid of their stories. Elba Cedeno from New Jersey, for example. She holds up a sign: "Cathy Smith - We Will Never Forget", we will never forget you. Cathy worked on the 97th floor of the north tower and was Elba's life partner. If the attacks hadn't happened, the two would probably have married, says Elba - same-sex marriage is now legal in New York. The museum that will tell the story of the attack is still under construction, but also "One World Trade Center", which at 417 meters will be the tallest building in New York and the iconic successor to the twin towers on the skyline. The original name "Freedom Tower" was dropped by the New York port authority, the builder - allegedly under pressure from the Chinese company Vantone, which was one of the first tenants. After the Ministry of Homeland Security reported on Thursday of "concrete, credible but unconfirmed indications" of attack plans that the new al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri himself had commissioned, the police turned the city into a fortress. In any case, concerns about a new assassination attempt had grown since plans were found when Osama bin Laden's hiding place was stormed in May. But the new information, which came from a Pakistani informant, and the presence of the President made those responsible take measures that had not been seen since 2001. According to media reports, authorities fear that a large car bomb, possibly the size of a truck, could be detonated in one of New York's tunnels or on a bridge. Most recently, the police were looking for three delivery vans that were stolen near New York in August. At checkpoints in front of the bridges and tunnels and around Midtown Manhattan, the police worked extra shifts to search trucks and minibuses. Cars parked in the no-parking zone were towed away immediately. Dozens of police patrols often popped up in front of endangered buildings - including city landmarks like the Empire State Building, television stations, and Jewish facilities. In the subway, police officers with assault rifles and protective vests checked luggage. Helicopters circled over the Statue of Liberty. The area around Ground Zero was cordoned off over a large area. Snipers had positioned themselves on many roofs and balconies. The New Yorkers endured the action calmly and sympathetically, if apprehensively. The authorities were also cautious in the capital Washington. Outside the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue, which had been closed to traffic for years, police officers and Secret Service bodyguards, recognizable by their black sunglasses, watched every passerby. In front of all government buildings there were more security guards than usual. For fear of car bombs, parking garages were blocked in the government district. At the Pentagon, too, was commemorated on Black Day Sunday. Vice President Joe Biden spoke there in front of the families of the 184 dead. On Saturday, Biden opened a memorial in Shanksville for the victims of United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth machine that was supposed to be hijacked and apparently bombed into the Congress building in Washington by four terrorists. UA 93 fell into a field near the hamlet of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Biden honored the dead as heroes: "They sacrificed their lives so that we could preserve ours."