SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - Recalling the nation's unity in a time of peril seven years ago, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama placed their partisan contest on hold Thursday and spoke as one in honoring of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Obama and McCain made ground zero in New York their common ground, joining in homage to the dead from the fallen Twin Towers and the hijacked planes flown into them. The candidates walked down a ramp together to the site where the World Trade Center once stood, and threw flowers into a reflecting pool.
Cindy McCain and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg accompanied the two candidates. Obama and McCain greeted family members of the victims.
Beforehand, McCain spoke briefly at a simple ceremony in remote, rural western Pennsylvania, held on a large hilly field close to where United Airlines Flight 93, the third of four airliners commandeered by terrorists, crashed. Investigators believe some of the 40 passengers and crew rushed the cockpit and thwarted terrorists' plans to use that plane as a weapon like the ones that hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon. All aboard all planes died.