New York Times, National
Requiems and Flyovers, Moments of Silence, Doves on the Wing
September 11, 2002
By JANNY SCOTT
One year after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon killed 3,025 people, plunging the
United States into war and a suddenly fearsome future, the
country today marks the anniversary of 9/11 in countless
public ceremonies and private moments, expressions of
patriotism and what for some is a deep desire to turn the
Even as new intelligence information and threats of
terrorism reminiscent of ones detected a year earlier
prompted the Bush administration yesterday to put the
country on high alert, Americans are going ahead with plans
for memorial services, bagpipe processions, peace vigils,
prayer services, tree plantings and commemorations of every
From ground zero to the Southern California coastline,
bells will toll, candles will burn, doves will wing their
way skyward. There will be cannon volleys and 21-gun
salutes and choirs singing Mozart's Requiem from one time
zone to the next in a "rolling requiem" circling the globe.
In New York City, the daylong observance includes a
citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., when the first
plane hit the trade center, and church bells will toll at
10:29 a.m., when the second tower collapsed. Relatives of
many of the 2,801 trade center victims will carry roses
onto the site. President Bush will address the country from
Ellis Island at 9 p.m. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is urging
everyone to light a candle at 7:12 p.m., sundown.
At the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., more than 13,000 people
are expected to turn out for a memorial ceremony at the
Phoenix Project construction site, where workers are still
repairing the section of building that was damaged. There,
too, there will be a moment of silence, as well as the
national anthem, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
and an Air Force flyover.
While some offices and workplaces are expected to close,
many people wanted to work. Some said they would mark the
anniversary quietly, in personal ways on the job. Kristin
Liggett, a 25-year-old trail boss for Fort Worth Herd, a
tourist attraction made up of longhorn cattle in Fort
Worth, said she would use the day, silently, to remind
herself not to take things for granted.
J. Mark Scearce, a resident composer at the University of
Southern Maine School of Music in Gorham, who is to perform
a commissioned piece for horn and piano that is one of
three pieces he wrote in response to 9/11, said he did not
expect to stay afterward to hear a performance of Requiem
because he was assuming that he would want to be alone.
"I just anticipate feelings that inspired these works of
mine, which is complete and utter devastation," said Mr.
Scearce, 41. "I'm going to be by myself. I'll probably sit
under a tree and cry."
The Bush administration's elevated terrorism alert
yesterday prompted Mayor Bloomberg to hold a hastily
arranged news conference to assure New Yorkers that the
state was not the subject of any particular threat, that
the city had been on high alert since last September and
that its commemoration events would go as planned.
"I think the most important thing is that we not allow the
terrorists' primary weapon, which is fear, to take away our
confidence, to take away our freedom, to take away the
strength and courage we have shown over the past year," Mr.
He added, "No state is better prepared or more organized to
prevent and respond to any attack than the state of New
In an earlier interview, he suggested that the Sept. 11
anniversary should be seen as an opportunity not only to
reflect on what had been lost but also to set aside
grieving and move forward. While he said he understood that
the sorrow would not end for some people, he suggested that
the city would benefit if the rest could put the experience
The many and varied meanings that Americans attach to
today's anniversary could be seen in the multitude of ways
they planned to observe it, from military flyovers to
multicultural dance. In Los Angeles and Orange County,
Calif., homing pigeon hobbyists planned to release nearly
3,000 pigeons, one for each trade center victim, at 13
grocery stores in the area.
In New Orleans, the Gumbo Krewe, a group of Louisianans who
made a pilgrimage to New York last year to pass out free
Louisiana cuisine to police officers, firefighters and
other workers at ground zero, will distribute free gumbo at
a renovated warehouse where the Contemporary Arts Center is
exhibiting 175 homemade missing-persons fliers from New
York after Sept. 11.
Richard Weir, a 49-year-old captain in the Fort Worth Fire
Department who is a second-generation firefighter and spent
seven days at ground zero in mid-September, said he had
plans to spend part of today with other firefighters and
some American Airlines pilots framing a house for Habitat
for Humanity, "in honor of the firefighters and the people
that were killed."
At the Washington National Cathedral, Desmond Tutu,
archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, will preach at a service
attended by, among others, ambassadors from the more than
30 countries that lost citizens in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Mr. Tutu will be interrupted by the tolling of the
cathedral's bell four times, at each of the moments when
the four highjacked planes crashed.
There will be prayers offered by Hindus, Buddhists,
Muslims, Jews, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Sikhs,
Catholics, Methodists and Greek Orthodox worshipers.
Students at the National Cathedral School for Girls and the
St. Albans School for Boys will carry the flags of the
affected countries in a procession led by a bagpiper.
Some anniversary events center on trade center artifacts
For example, two steel beams from ground zero, donated to
the city of Albuquerque, N.M., to be incorporated into a
new bell tower for the Sacred Heart Church in that city,
are to be carried to the city's Civic Plaza, then returned
to the church to be on view during a 6 p.m. Mass and a
concert by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
Yesterday, just off San Clemente, Calif., professional
surfers from all over the world attending a competition at
Lower Trestles, one of the best surfing spots in North
America, paddled out into the Pacific, joined hands in a
circle of remembrance and threw ashes and trade center
debris into the ocean to become a part of an existing reef.
"Surfing is the ultimate expression of freedom," said Bill
Sharp, who edits the magazine Surf News and who had the
idea for the ceremony. "What better way could there be to
show our appreciation of that freedom and the country that
affords us the opportunity to express that freedom?"
Elsewhere, New York firefighters are the centerpiece.
Nine members of Engine Company 73 and Ladder Company 42 in
the Bronx are to be flown by chartered plane to Fairfield,
Me., to be honored in a memorial ceremony at the Lawrence
High School football stadium, where 3,000 people are
expected, including a Maine contestant on the television
show "Survivor," who wrote a poem for the event.
Victims' names are to be read aloud in New York City,
Washington, Birmingham, Ala., and other places. Doves are
to be released in San Bernardino, Calif. In Alabama,
political advertising is to be suspended. In Fountain
Valley, Calif., Cheriday Heckman will be the host of a
cul-de-sac dinner as a way of bringing together 45 of her
neighbors in remembrance.
Yesterday in New York, tourists and journalists milled
around ground zero. A preacher hectoring the crowd carried
a sign making the claim, "The winds of the end of time are
blowing." The Brooklyn Bridge was briefly closed to traffic
in one direction after the police stopped a green van and
took two men in for questioning, but the authorities said
they did not believe that there was a link to terrorism.
Far from Lower Manhattan or the Pentagon or the field in
Shanksville, Pa., where one of the four hijacked planes
crashed, at least a few people admitted in recent days to
wondering exactly what they ought to be feeling as Sept. 11
"A lot of people are wondering how much they should make
out of it, and don't know exactly what to do," said Criss
Roberts, lifestyle editor at The Hawk Eye, a regional
newspaper in Burlington, Iowa.
She said some had asked "whether we need to be trotting out
our firefighters and all that." One year after 9/11, she
said, it seemed as if "we are borrowing someone else's