SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Although political figures have been excluded from today's 9/11 anniversary commemoration at ground zero in New York, that wasn't the case in Pennsylvania -- where Vice President Joe Biden told victims' relatives and others that today's ceremonies offer a chance for families to remember and recover.
He said the commemorations show that the nation hasn't forgotten the attacks.
Biden took part in a wreath-laying at a memorial to the people on board United Flight 93, the jet on which passengers fought hijackers for control before it crashed near Shanksville.
Bells of remembrance were rung by surviving family members and community members who became involved in the aftermath of the crash.
Eleven years after 9/11, the Flight 93 memorial is still unfinished. There will be an educational center and a 93-foot tower with a wind chime for each passenger and crew member. Organizers say about $5 million still needs to be raised from private donors to finish the work.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was also at today's event, said the goal is for the memorial to be complete by the 15th anniversary.
One man whose brother was on the flight says the anniversary shouldn't be used for political purposes -- and he says despite today's remarks by Biden and others, politics didn't intrude on it.
APPHOTO PAGP106: A boulder, top center, that represents the final resting place for the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 is viewed by visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial after a memorial service in Shanksville, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (11 Sep 2012)
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APPHOTO OREUG105: Lane County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Loren Corner blows taps Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 in front of the Lane County Jail in Eugene. He performed his trumpet calls in observance of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. Sgt. Corner played at the exact times of the attacks beginning at 5:46 a.m., then 6:03 a.m., 6:37 a.m. and finally at 7:03 a.m. A contingent of deputies saluted as he played. Sgt. Corner works at the jail. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Paul Carter) (11 Sep 2012)
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