Solemn Ceremonies to Mark Sept. 11
Wed Sep 4, 5:09 PM ET
By JENNIFER PETER, Associated Press Writer

At 8:46 a.m. Sept. 11, bells will ring in firehouses and churches across the country. The strains of Mozart's Requiem will be heard in time zones worldwide, sung by symphonies and school choirs.

Splinters of the destroyed buildings will be on display in states such as Nevada, Tennessee, Ohio and Wyoming. Americans will gather at public plazas and government buildings in cities and towns across the country for moments of silence and remembrances.

At the epicenters of the attacks, in New York City, the Pentagon ( news - web sites), and a rural Pennsylvania town, government leaders will join victims' families in remembering the first anniversary of the attacks. In Boston, where terrorists boarded the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center, all takeoffs and landings will halt for a minute at the moment the first tower was struck a year ago.

But the day will also be marked in smaller ways, with candlelight vigils, music and prayer services in thousands of American communities that felt the shockwaves.

In places such as Wilmot, N.H., the loss was intensely personal. One of the town's 1,110 residents, Thelma Cuccinello, 71, died aboard a hijacked flight. Using money raised at farmer's markets and car washes, the town has built a bandstand that will be dedicated Wednesday.

"It will give the town a reason to come together," said Rhonda Gauthier, the town selectman's secretary and chairwoman of the bandstand committee. "We are dedicating it to all the victims and heroes."

In other cities and towns, the commemorations were inspired by a more general sense of national loss.

"We know people are looking for a way to remember what happened and experience something that will help them heal," said Lauren Kirby of the Annapolis, Md., Symphony Orchestra, which will begin playing Mozart's Requiem at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

As part of the so-called Rolling Requiem, organized by a group of Seattle singers, Mozart's work will be performed at 8:46 a.m. local time in at least 21 time zones around the world, including 43 states and 24 countries.

In addition to remembering those who died and honoring police, firefighters and the military, event organizers are using the anniversary to honor the fundamental American freedoms that were attacked that day.

At ground zero, New York Gov. George Pataki will read the Gettysburg Address and New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey ( news, bio, voting record) will read parts of the Declaration of Independence.

The Library of Virginia will display the state's 1789 original manuscript copy of the proposed United States Bill of Rights, with its original 12 amendments.

In Lincoln, Neb., 20 immigrants will be naturalized as U.S. citizens at an evening memorial ceremony.

Public schools in several states will honor the day with special events, including a moment of silence at 9:40 a.m. in all Washington, D.C. classrooms. That is the time when a plane carrying three of the district's students and three teachers struck the Pentagon.

In Augusta, Ga., children at some elementary schools will dress in red, white and blue, while other students will gather around the flag pole to sing "God Bless America."

Traffic will stop for a minute at 9 a.m. in Carlisle, Pa. Planes will perform flyovers in states including Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois and Oregon. Flames of remembrance will be lit in New York City, Tomahawk, Wis., and Atlanta. Doves of peace will be released in Reno, Nev.

And in Hawaii, the last U.S. state where Mozart's Requiem will be played, the islands' four mayors are inviting people to step outside their homes, classrooms and workplaces to observe a moment of silence.

"The important thing is to never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001," Gov. Ben Cayetano said.

 


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