September 11, 2003 12:43 PM

Today will be a solemn and poignant one as the nation takes time to honor the lives of those killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks two years ago.

President Bush was expected to hold a moment of silence on the White House’s South Lawn at 8:46 a.m., the Associated Press reports. It’s the exact time, two years ago, that the first hijacked plane (American Flight 11) struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

In New York, a daylong remembrance ceremony will be held at Ground Zero. On a stage near where the North Tower once stood, 200 school children will recite the 2,792 names of those killed in the attacks.

Eleven-year-old Madilynn Morris will recite 14 names, ending with that of her father, Seth Allan Morris, a 35-year-old employee of bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald who was killed in the attack.

“I thought it would be a good way to honor my dad, and to honor the other people,” the little girl tells AP. Her mother, Lynn Morris, had greater hopes: “Maybe people will think, ‘That could have been my kid standing up there,’ and we’ll continue the fight against terrorism so another child doesn’t have to lose a parent.”

Across the country, moments of silence and remembrances will be held. Fire Departments in most states have planned processions to honor the firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the attack. Companies across the nation are encouraging employees to spend the day as Samaritans — giving blood, raising money, and donating to those in need.

“It helps bring people together and it helps us feel united,” said Elaine Diaz, a spokeswoman for a group raising money in Tampa, Fla., for the families of police officers, firefighters and U.S. Special Operations forces who lost their lives in the war on terror.

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