New York Plans Simple, Powerful Remembrance

New York City plans what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a simple, powerful ceremony on Sept. 11 to commemorate the tragedy.

Bloomberg said the day will start with five sets of bagpipe and drum groups marching from each of the city’s five burroughs to the site of the World Trade Center, now known as ground zero.

At 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane struck the towers, there will be moment of silence, followed by a reading of the Gettysburg Address by Gov. George Pataki. Pataki urged people across the state, especially schools, to observe the moment of silence and discuss the events.

The names all those who died at the site will then be read, led by Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of the city during the attack. The listing of names is expected to be followed by the playing of “Taps” and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The ceremony should be complete at 10:29 a.m., the time when the second tower collapsed. Bloomberg asked that houses of worship in the city toll their bells at that time. He also asked them to keep their doors open throughout the day for those who wish to pray.

After that, families of victims will be allowed inside the site for the first time. They will be asked to leave a rose in vase. Those roses will be saved, and used as part of permanent memorial at the site.

Later that night, there will be a lighting of an eternal flame, and candlelight gatherings in each of the five burroughs. President George W. Bush is expected to visit New York that night.

Bloomberg pointed out that city offices as well as schools and most workplaces will still be open on the anniversary of the attack.

He said that the events were expected to cost around $9 million, and that $3 million had already been raised from private donors about approximately 20 corporations.