(iht) - Pope Benedict XVI's first trip to the United States since he was elected three years ago is over.
The pope's plane, nicknamed "Shepherd One," departed Sunday night from John F. Kennedy airport in New York. Vice President Dick Cheney hosted a farewell ceremony for the pope at the end of his six-day visit. Former President Clinton and presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton also attended.
Earlier in the day, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said Mass for 57,000 raucous worshippers in Yankee Stadium. The crowd roared when the pope was welcomed to the Mass by New York's Cardinal Edward Egan.
The day began with a solemn visit to ground zero, where the pope prayed for peace, lighted a memorial candle and blessed the site with holy water.