Powerful Images From the 9/11 Museum Dedication

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President Obama spoke for just nine minutes this morning — he was scheduled for three — at the dedication of the September 11 Museum in lower Manhattan. He made it count. "No act of terror can match the strength or the character of our country," he said. "Like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us. Nothing can change who we are as Americans."

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Obama was joined by his wife Michelle, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. (George W. Bush could not attend because of a "scheduling conflict.")

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"I think all who come here will find it to be a profound, moving experience," said the president. (Read Justin Davidson's review of the museum here.)

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"Here we tell their story, so that generations yet unborn will never forget, of co-workers who led others to safety," said Obama, naming heroes and victims, including Welles Crowther, who was identified months later by his red bandana.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15:   U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the opening ceremony for the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero May 15, 2014 in New York City.  The museum spans seven stories, mostly underground, and contains artifacts from the attack on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001 that include the 80 ft high tridents, the so-called "Ground Zero Cross," the destroyed remains of Company 21's New York Fire Department Engine as well as smaller items such as letter that fell from the hijacked plane and posters of missing  loved ones projected onto the wall of the museum. The museum will open to the public on May 21.  (Photo by Tim Clary-Pool/Getty Images)
Photo: Tim Clary/Getty Images

"He worked in finance, but he had also been a volunteer firefighter," said Obama. "And after the planes hit, he put on that bandanna and spent his final moments saving others."

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"Here at this memorial, this museum, we come together, we stand in the footprints of two mighty towers, graced by the rush of eternal waters," said Obama.

US President Barack Obama, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, US First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former US President Bill Clinton tour the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on May 15, 2014 in New York. Obama inaugurated the museum commemorating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

In the words of Michael Bloomberg, "It is impossible to leave without feeling inspired."