U.S. to mark terrorist attacks mostly in silence
NEW YORK – The nation will remember last Sept. 11 mostly in silence, with few sounds other than bells tolling, military jets roaring in tribute, and the reading of victims’ names.
At the World Trade Center, felled by two of the four hijacked jetliners, family members and dignitaries will read the names of the 2,801 dead and missing this morning, an hour-and-a-half recitation to begin and end with moments of silence and include readings of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address.
The city’s remembrance was to begin with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane hit the trade center – and end just before 10:30 a.m., when the second tower collapsed.
A wall etched with the names of the dead and missing was unveiled Tuesday at a new ground zero viewing stand. The wall will eventually extend around the perimeter of the trade center site.
Cities across the country were to fall silent for moments in the morning and throughout the day. In Los Angeles, houses of worship were asked to ring bells at 5:46 a.m., followed by a moment of silence.
A ceremony was planned at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which marks what had been the worst act of terrorism on American soil. In Chicago, home to the nation’s tallest building – the Sears Tower – residents will observe three minutes of silence before an interfaith prayer at Daley Plaza.
In New York, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was scheduled to lead a long line of people reading the victims’ names in alphabetical order. Others include Secretary of State Colin Powell, actor Robert De Niro and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
A ceremony at the Pentagon, where 189 people were killed, including five hijackers, will begin at 9:30 a.m., and include a moment of silence, the Pledge of Allegiance and musical selections by military bands.
Thousands were expected to gather today in the Pennsylvania field where the fourth hijacked plane crashed. Nearly 500 friends and relatives of victims of United Airlines Flight 93 privately shared their grief and memories at the crash site Tuesday. Today’s ceremony at 10:06 a.m., the time of the plane crash, will includes a moment of silence and a reading of the 40 victims’ names as bells are tolled.
Ceremonies nationwide were to rely on symbolism and historical references.
Barbara Minervino, who lost her husband, is not going to New York City’s ceremony but said keeping speeches out of the anniversary remembrances was a good idea.
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