- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2002

NEW YORK The wail of bagpipes and the clatter of drums echoed off the pavement of this grieving city once more early yesterday as marching bands from the city's five boroughs made a pilgrimage to ground zero to mourn those killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Starting shortly after midnight, men in tartan kilts from the city's various uniformed services, who have piped at about 500 memorial services and funerals of attack victims, began their 13- to 19-mile-treks to the crater that marks the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

"This is going to help the healing," said Persio Logos, a TV-marketing manager, who got up a little before 2 a.m. to see the parade and snap pictures. "The fact that they're going so many miles by foot says a lot about their sense of honor."

Hundreds of New Yorkers, some holding candles, many waving flags, embraced their friends and shouted gratitude to the men as they passed.

"I want them to get rid of al Qaeda," said Mike Moran, as he walked his American bulldog, Deegan, alongside the procession in Manhattan. "I'm still angry."

The pipers and drummers, many of whom participated in recovery efforts at ground zero, lent an upbeat beginning to the somber words and mournful thoughts that engulfed the city on the anniversary of the attacks.

There was also an emerging sense that grief must now give way to recuperation.

"It was nice to have support from the people and you appreciate it. Now it's time to we don't want to say move on but it's time to let the healing start," said Tommy McEnroe, pipe major for the Manhattan band from the Fire Department of New York's Emerald Society

As the day unfolded, it was impossible to avoid reminders of the terrorist attack from 365 days ago. A news screen carried the names of the 2,801 World Trade Center victims, while the streets filled with a surplus of red, white and blue flags, pins and T-shirts.

In a Manhattan firehouse, firefighters listened quietly to the roll call of their 343 lost comrades.

On the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, mourners wept soundlessly, many staring downtown at the shattered skyline.

"I'm here to just pray and hope," said Charles Frank, 49, of Manhattan, standing outside the landmark church in a fire department shirt with an American flag pin. "Pray for peace, and hope for the best."

On this day of remembrance, the city that never sleeps paused to catch its breath. Cabdrivers stayed off their horns, and straphangers barely spoke. Lower Manhattan's financial district was as quiet as a Sunday morning.

Before beginning the bagpipe procession from upper Manhattan, the Rev. Everett Wabst, the FDNY chaplain, said a brief prayer.

"Have Father Mychal smile on us as we march," he said, referring to the Rev. Mychal Judge, the much-loved fire department chaplain whose crushed body was found beneath a firetruck after the attack.

Father Wabst, competing with street sounds, blessed the band with holy water and ashes taken from the clothes worn by Father Judge, his best friend. "I'll get through the day, but don't know when the tears are going to fall," he said.

Ladder trucks and police cars, their red and white lights flashing, led the way as applause broke out on street corners. The city's night workers, telephone linesmen and subway crews, stood silently, remembering the terrible event.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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