Plans Solemn Ceremony to Mark Sept. 11
August 06, 2002
NEW YORK - World
leaders will light an eternal flame, the governor
will deliver the Gettysburg Address, and former
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will lead a reading of the
names of 2,823 victims during a day of
"simple and powerful" observances
marking the anniversary of the World Trade Center
"This will not be an ordinary day for anyone
in New York," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said
Tuesday in announcing a plan that "honors the
memory of those we lost that day and that gives
New Yorkers, Americans and people around the world
the opportunity to remember and reflect."
Bloomberg said the daylong series of remembrances
Sept. 11 will start early in the morning with
bagpipe and drum processions that will begin in
each of the city's five boroughs and converge at
the World Trade Center site.
At 8:46 a.m., the time a hijacked airliner slammed
into one of the twin towers, the city will observe
a moment of silence.
Giuliani, who was praised for his courageous
leadership after the attack, will begin the
reading of the names of those killed.
"If anybody has a tie to those lost and is
appropriate to start that out, it is Rudy
Giuliani," Bloomberg said.
A cross-section of New Yorkers and people from
around the world -- including those who lost
family members and co-workers in the attack --
will follow Giuliani in reading the names, which
is expected to take most of the nearly two-hour
Gov. George Pataki will read Abraham Lincoln's
Gettysburg Address, which includes the line:
"We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we
cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living
and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it,
far above our poor power to add or detract."
The service is expected to conclude with a moment
of silence just before 10:30 a.m., when the second
of the twin towers fell.
Houses of worship will be encouraged to toll their
bells, and family members of the victims will be
invited to descend a ramp seven stories to the
footprint of the twin towers. Each family will
pick up a rose and place it in a vase for an
arrangement that will be preserved for a permanent
"Sept. 11, that date, will live in people's
hearts and minds for generations just as the date
Dec. 7 will never be forgotten," Pataki said.
At sunset, world leaders -- possibly including
President Bush -- will light an eternal flame at a
temporary memorial a few blocks from ground zero.
At candlelight vigils around the city, including
Central Park, New Yorkers will be asked to reflect
and listen to music from the city's orchestras.
"Our intent," Bloomberg said, "is
to have a day of observances that are simple and
More than a dozen Broadway theaters will go dark
that day, but Bloomberg said he expects that most
businesses will remain open and that students will
go to class. "We will carry on our
responsibilities to our families and to our
city," Bloomberg said.
Bond brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658
employees, plans a private remembrance in Central
Park. The Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, which lost 75 employees, plans an
In May, when the city held a ceremony to mark the
end of the cleanup at ground zero, city officials
were criticized by family members for not
scheduling the observance on a weekend, when more
people could attend.
This time, city officials were careful to seek the
opinions of family members. They also solicited
public opinion last month and received more than
4,000 suggestions on how to mark the first
"The mayor and the governor saw to it that
this morning belonged to the victims'
families," said Christy Ferer, whose husband,
Neil Levin, was director of the Port Authority
when he was killed.
Although some details remain to be worked out,
Sept. 11 ceremonies are also planned at the
Pentagon and the rural site near Shanksville, Pa.,
where the other two hijacked planes crashed.
Back to the Stories &