- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday asked Vice President Dick Cheney not to attend this morning’s second-anniversary ceremony of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center site, saying security would interfere with participants’ efforts to get there.

“Because of concerns that the increased security measures required for vice-presidential travel would have inconvenienced or delayed family members, I have asked Vice President Cheney to attend a memorial service later in the day honoring fallen Port Authority officers and employees,” the Republican mayor said in a statement.

Mr. Cheney had been scheduled to appear with Govs. George E. Pataki of New York and James E. McGreevey of New Jersey, as well as former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at a ceremony in which victims’ children will read aloud the names of the 2,792 who died there.

This was the latest development surrounding the attacks’ second anniversary, a commemoration that was expected to be low-key and small scale.

Many reasoned that 24 months later, memories of the worst chapter in the city’s history would fade. But as the day drew near, an outpouring of memories and new resolve dominated the headlines and conversations of those who live in the dusty orbit of ground zero.

The question — “Where were you on September 11th?” — re-emerged as the topic of the week.

The fact is that New Yorkers have not forgotten. Just this week, workmen atop a building found several bones believed to be remains from the attacks that felled the nearby 110-story towers. On Tuesday, mourners grieved at a funeral for the last of the 343 New York City firemen who perished in the attack.

The remains of Firefighter Michael Ragusa were never recovered, so they buried a vial of his donated blood and his uniform. A Staten Island family will soon attend a funeral — their fifth — for the latest set of their son’s remains.

Scores of memorials are marking the day and the dead in ceremonies throughout the city, from a Hawaiian flotilla that will drop leis into the Hudson River to the screening of a 1973 film in which the construction workers who built the twin towers demonstrate in support of U.S. troops in Vietnam.

Tonight, the twin towers of light will shine once more throughout the evening from the site of the towers.

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