미국 뉴욕과 워싱턴 등에서는 어제 (11일), 9.11 테러 6주기를 맞아 희생자들을 기리는 기념행사가 곳곳에서 펼쳐졌습니다. 미국 정부는 그동안의 '테러와의 전쟁'이 상당한 진전을 이뤘다고 평가했지만, 전직 관료 등으로 구성된 9.11 테러특별조사위원회는 미국은 아직 충분히 안전하지 않다며 이슬람권에 대한 부시 행정부의 외교정책을 비판했습니다. 서지현 기자가 자세히 전해드립니다.

미국 뉴욕과 워싱턴 등지에서는 11일, 6년 전 발생한 9.11 테러로 숨진 희생자들을 추모하는 행사가 엄숙히 거행됐습니다. 

가장 많은 희생자가 발생했던 뉴욕의 세계무역센터 건물, 이른바 '그라운드 제로' 인근 공원에서는 희생자 2천7백여 명의 이름을 하나 하나 호명하며 애도를 표하는 행사가 열렸습니다.  

마이클 블룸버그 뉴욕시장은 추모사에서 "2001년 9월 11일은 미국의 역사와 마음을 갈갈이 찢은 날"이었다며 유가족들을 위로했습니다.

6년 전 9월11일, 미국에 침투한 국제 테러조직 알카에다 요원 19명은 항공기 4대를 공중납치해 뉴욕의 세계무역센터 건물과 워싱턴의 국방부 청사에 충돌하도록 했습니다. 미국 본토에 대한 역사상 첫 공격으로 기록된 이 테러로 인해 수 많은 사람들이 목숨을 잃었고, 이후 미국은 알카에다의 본거지인 아프가니스탄을 침공해 탈레반 정권을 붕괴시키는 등 본격적인 테러와의 전쟁에 나섰습니다.

블룸버그 뉴욕시장은 추도행사에서 `우리는 오늘 뉴욕 주민이자 미국인으로서 헤아릴 수 없는 상실을 나누고, 희생자들의 이름을 기억하기 위해 다시 모였다'고 말했습니다.

공화당의 대통령 선거 경선 후보인 루돌프 줄리아니 당시 뉴욕시장도 기념식에 참석해 짧은 추모사를 했지만 유가족들은 줄리아니 전 시장이 9.11을 선거전에 이용하고 있다며 야유를 보냈습니다. 

로버트 게이츠 국방장관도 워싱턴의 국방부 청사에서 열린 추모행사에서 테러는 더 이상 용인되지 않을 것이라고 강조했습니다. 

게이츠 국방장관은 미국의 적들, 미국의 가치와 자유의 적들은 다시는 편히 쉴 수 없을 것이라며, 미국은 집요하게, 중단 없이 그들을 쫓을 것이라고 말했습니다. 

이밖에 펜실베이니아의 여객기 추락 지점에서도 희생자들을 애도하는 행사가 열렸습니다. 

한편, 전직 관료와 의회 의원 등으로 구성된 9.11 테러 특별조사위원회는 이날 워싱턴에서 기자회견을 갖고 미국은 9.11 테러가 발생했던 6년 전보다는 더 안전해졌지만 충분히 안전하진 않다며, 미국의 외교정책은 회교 극단주의에 맞서는 노력에서 그 기반을 잃었다고 밝혔습니다.

9.11 테러 특별조사위원회 위원장인 토마스 킨 전 뉴저지 주지사는 미국은 테러공격을 방어하고 대응하는 데 있어 힘들고, 불완전하고, 매우 속도가 더뎠지만 진정한 진전을 이뤘다면서, 그러나 미국의 외교적 수행 성과에 대해서는 불만스럽다고 밝혔습니다. 

킨 전 주지사와 조사위원회 부위원장인 리 해밀턴 전 하원의원은 이어 미국의 외교정책은 이슬람권에 대한 미국의 지지를 침식하고 있다고 비판했습니다.

해밀턴 전 하원의원은 특히 이라크는 테러분자들을 고용하는 강력한 매개체가 됐다며, 이라크에서 훈련된 테러분자들은 이라크 내 분쟁이 해결된 이후에는 다른 목표물로 다시 관심을 돌릴 것이라고 말했습니다.

미국의 소리, 서지현 입니다.

(관련 영문기사)

The United States marked the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States with ceremonies, tributes and silence all over the country. From VOA's New York Bureau, Mona Ghuneim reports.

Six years after the attacks that changed the Manhattan skyline forever, New Yorkers gathered Tuesday at a park near the former site of the World Trade Center to observe the anniversary.

As in years past, the New York ceremony included four moments of silence - each one in memory of the times the twin towers were hit and then fell. As in previous ceremonies, the names of more than 2,700 people who died when the towers collapsed were read out loud. Only this year, for the first time, firefighters and rescue workers who responded to the attacks and recovery efforts read the names.

"Alok Agarwal, Mukul Kumar Agarwala, and my family member - Peggy Jezycki Alario, and my partner and friend - paramedic Lieutenant Ricardo J. Quinn," read one.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided over the event. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani also made brief remarks, despite opposition from many firefighters and victims' families who say Giuliani is using 9/11 as a way to further his presidential campaign. But the former mayor said he was chief of the city that day and has appeared at the ceremony every year.

Mayor Bloomberg said 9/11 was "the day that tore across our history and our hearts."

"We come together again as New Yorkers and as Americans to share a loss that can't be measured and to remember the names of those who can't be replaced," he said.

Family members of the victims descended to Ground Zero to lay flowers and pay their respects. Because of construction, this year's commemoration could not be held at Ground Zero itself. Family members who threatened to boycott the ceremony finally won a struggle with the city to be allowed access to the site.

Benito Colon's wife died in the South Tower that day. He paid tribute to her and read a message from their daughters.

"Time passes but the memories of you, full of love, will be our best guide," said Colon. "We love you, mommy."

At the White House, President Bush and his wife observed a moment of silence. The president was joined by Vice President Dick Cheney, cabinet members and the White House staff.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates presided over a small ceremony at the Pentagon. He said that acts of terrorism will not be tolerated.

"The enemies of America, the enemies of our values and our liberty, will never again rest easy for we will hunt them down relentlessly and without reservation," said Gates.

A memorial at the Pennsylvania field where one of the hijacked planes crashed, killing the 40 passengers and crew on board, was also held.

The two chairmen of the independent September 11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, told reporters in Washington Tuesday the United States is safer today than it was six years ago when it was attacked by al-Qaida. But the former governor and the former congressman also agree the nation is not safe enough, and say that U.S. foreign policy has actually lost ground in its efforts to stem the tide of extremism in the Muslim world. VOA's Cindy Saine reports from Washington.

The two chairmen of the the commission that studied the lessons of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States got together again to assess if the United States is safer now. Former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean says he believes U.S. defenses are better.

"We have made progress at home in our ability to detect, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks," said Kean. "It has been difficult, incomplete and it's been very slow, but real progress has been made."

Kean says the federal government has implemented many of the recommendations made by the 9/11 panel to prevent future attacks. He said the National Counterterrorism Center is forcing greater sharing of intelligence and that the Central Intelligence Agency's collection and analysis of intelligence is improving. The terrorist screening center checks the manifest of every international flight entering the U.S., he said, and airport screeners are better trained today.

But Kean said he and former congressman Lee Hamilton are not pleased with the government's performance on the international front.

"Six years after 9/11, the National Intelligence Estimate speaks of a persistent and evolving terrorist threat to the United States," he said. "Inside Pakistan, al-Qaida has protected or regenerated key elements of its homeland attack capacity."

Kean and Hamilton say Pakistan should take the lead in rooting out al-Qaida, but the U.S. must act if Pakistan will not.

They also blame U.S. foreign policy for undermining support for America in the Muslim world. Hamilton cites Iraq as a negative example.

"I do think we agree that Iraq has been a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists, and therefore has a much longer term fuse to it than might otherwise be the case," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said the terrorists now being trained in Iraq will turn their sights on other targets long after the conflict there has been resolved.

Speaking ahead of the September 11 anniversary, White House aide Frances Townsend gave the United States a more positive report card. She said the government has made considerable progress in protecting against terrorist attacks and that the country is safer now than it was in 2001.