In the last of a series of federal events to honor the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress concluded its ceremony on the Capitol steps Monday evening.
Hundreds of lawmakers gathered on the eastern steps of the building and joined in singing "God Bless America," just as they did a decade ago, upon the recommendation of Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski. Marking the anniversary always unifies an at times raucous group of politicians from both parties and both chambers of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid paid special tribute to those on Flight 93 who overpowered the hijackers and crashed the plane in a Pennsylvania field so they couldn't turn the plane into a fourth missile.
"The plane was headed here," Reid said. "We've learned since then that the ring leader of that evil band had made the decision that it would be the Capitol and not the White House because it would be a much easier target."
Congress members also joined in a moment of silence to honor all of the lives that were lost in the 9/11 attacks.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will preside over a mass wedding for same-sex couples during the city's Pride Festival at Druid Hill Park next month.