- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2002

NEW YORK America paused today to remember the unforgettable with the tolling of bells, with recitations of the names of the dead, and above all, with silence.

The stillness started in New York, with a moment of silence at ground zero, the massive hole where the World Trade Center once stood, until terrorist-guided jetliners cut through a crystal blue sky a year ago and obliterated its towers. The 2,801 names on the city's list of the dead were read, one by one. On a gusty day, their loved ones cried and dropped roses in a "circle of honor."

"They were our neighbors, our husbands, our children, our sisters, our brothers and our wives. They were our countrymen and our friends. They were us," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gov. George Pataki followed the moment of silence with a reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. And then Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor who guided the city with quiet strength in the days after last September 11, began the reading of the names.

"Gordon M. Aamoth Jr.," he intoned. "Edelmiro Abad. Maria Rose Abad. Andrew Anthony Abate …"

The time was 8:46 a.m. EDT, the instant when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the gargantuan complex.

To the mournful tones of a string quartet, family members of the dead and notables such as New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Colin Powell and actor Robert De Niro picked up the list where Mr. Giuliani left off.

At 9:03 a.m., the moment the second tower was struck, the ringing of a bell interrupted the recitation of names. The city's church bells tolled to mark the moment when the second tower fell. The reading of the names ended at 11:20 a.m.; a bugler played taps.

A cascade of memorial events marked a moment whose echoes still resound from New York to Afghanistan, and everywhere in between a moment that even a year later left many transfixed by the horror, burdened by sadness, plagued by fears.

The moment of the first attack was commemorated around the globe, starting in New Zealand, with the first line of the Requiem that Mozart wrote in his dying days.

"Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis," sang the Orlando Singers Chamber Choir at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church in Rumuera: "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine on them."

Choirs in 20 time zones around the world were to sing those words, each of them beginning at 8:46 a.m., local time.

In Australia, 3,000 people in red-white-and-blue clothes assembled on a beach to make a human flag. In Paris, two powerful beams of light were projected into the sky.

A special Mass for firefighters was held at a Rome basilica, and Pope John Paul II dedicated his weekly audience to the attacks. "No situation of hurt, no philosophy or religion can ever justify such a grave offense on human life and dignity," he said.

While the focus in America was on the places that suffered the most, ceremonies marking September 11 prayer, the tolling of bells, candlelight vigils, releases of doves and balloons, riderless horses, flags at half-staff were everywhere.

On the sprawling statehouse lawn in Columbus, Ohio, 2,999 American flags and one Ohio flag were arranged to depict the twin towers. In San Francisco's Washington Square, more than 3,000 flags flew, including those of 14 other countries whose citizens were among the victims.

At Boston's Logan International Airport, where the two planes that struck the trade center took off, all ground operations stopped at 8:46 a.m.

At the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nev., dealers held their cards and security guards stood silent, their hands folded. Cocktail servers paused, drinks on their trays.

At Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played on a steel guitar and Connie Smith sang "Amazing Grace" after a moment of silence and a color guard presentation by police officers and firefighters.

In Phoenix, 100 people joined hands before sunrise and stood near a downtown intersection, facing east. They listened on a cell phone to New Yorkers singing "God Bless America."

In Montgomery, Ala., at E.D. Nixon Elementary School, sixth-graders and their teachers baked cookies to bring to their local firefighters. It was their idea, said principal Terese Goodson: "They just wanted to do something."

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