`The emotions are still there'

Maryland: State residents mark the 9/11 anniversary with music, prayer and volunteerism, enduring a gamut of powerful feelings.

2001 9/11 2002

One Year

September 12, 2002|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF

The musicians dressed in the black of mourning took their places. At 8:46 a.m. yesterday, a year to the moment after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center, the choir rose, and the orchestra, led by the deep strains of the bass, began to play Mozart's Requiem.

Some of the more than 1,000 people jammed into Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis sobbed as the music took them through the emotions they felt a year ago: anger, fear, sorrow. And the emotions of yesterday: sadness, grief, hope.

"When he wrote the most moving sections, he was a month away from dying, and he didn't know this," J. Ernest Green, conductor of the Annapolis Chorale, said of the 18th-century composer who didn't live to see his 36th birthday or his piece performed. "To me it becomes a metaphor for this event. All those people who went to work that morning, walking downtown or catching a flight, that had no idea, and an hour later that was it."

Across Maryland, people remembered the Sept. 11 attacks with gestures big and small. There were moments of silence in classrooms, in office buildings, at the normally bustling Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Bells rang. Horns honked. Prayers were said. Some ran in an early-morning race through parts of downtown Baltimore. More than 1,000 joined a miles-long demonstration for peace. Ceremonies were held in front of government buildings, along the Inner Harbor, at Fort McHenry.

Those who participated said they couldn't let the day go by without marking it in some way, saying they couldn't just pretend it was an ordinary day.

"I just kind of said, this is a day I want to use to keep my life in perspective," said Jennifer Zanni, a Baltimore physical therapist who attended a noontime ceremony aboard the Coast Guard cutter Taney in the Inner Harbor. "I didn't necessarily want to sit around and watch TV all day. I wanted to use this day to call all the people I know, to get in touch with people."

"A lot of people maybe put it on the back burner for a little while, but it's still there, the emotions are still there," said Lyndele Bernard, a nursing professor who attended the concert in Annapolis. "I wanted to come together with other people who were having the same emotions."

At Loyola Blakefield, a private boys' school in Towson, the service was dedicated to one person - Daniel W. McNeal, a 1990 graduate who worked for an investment banking firm in the south tower of the World Trade Center and died there. They gathered to remember the 29-year-old they lost - and to award a scholarship in his name to one of the school's seniors. McNeal's mother, Kathryn, presented the award to 16-year-old Tore DeBella of Owings Mills. Standing next to McNeal, DeBella quietly told her: "I can't take this. I really don't deserve it."

"You just proved that you did," she replied.

Aboard the Taney in the Inner Harbor, where each person who attended tossed carnations or rose petals off the stern as a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace," the brief observance began with words from Alan Walden, co-chairman of the Baltimore Maritime Museum.

"You all know why we're here," he said. "This is a memorial service we would rather not have had. The barbarians were no longer at the gates. They were inside the gates, and we paid a terrible price - 3,000 people."

More than 2,000 men, women and children participated in the 7 a.m. Run to Remember, which began near War Memorial Plaza. Many runners carried carnations, dropping them off at a table outside the World Trade Center on Pratt Street to make a memorial.

Runners David and Jessica Lunken of Federal Hill pushed their 14-month-old daughter, Isabel, in her bicycle carriage. "We wanted to mark the day as a family," he said, "and do something different."

At BWI, where traffic dropped to about half of its normal daily volume of 55,000 yesterday and about 20 flights were canceled, people stood still at 8:46. Passengers wheeling suitcases stopped and bowed their heads. Workers emerged from behind the counters to hold hands in an impromptu circle around the information desk.

At the U.S. Naval Academy, the chapel bell tolled 14 times at 8:46 in honor of the 14 alumni killed in the attacks. The bell-ringing was originally scheduled for about an hour later, the time when the Pentagon was struck, but organizers changed it at the last moment to stay in step with other national remembrances.

In Westminster, county officials gathered at 10:05 a.m., choosing the time the first tower collapsed for their somber remembrance. Reisterstown United Methodist Church held a morning prayer and candle service. At the Anne Arundel County Court House, a noontime gathering of more than 100 sang "God Bless America."

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