U.S. pauses to remember Sept. 11 attacks

4th anniversary services recognize Katrina victims

`Innocent lives ... taken by evil'

September 12, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

The nation marked the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks yesterday in familiar ways - the readings of long lists of victims, the black bands worn across shined badges, the framed portraits clutched by loved ones - even while struggling with its latest tragedy, the death and devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

The day of grief was remembered against a backdrop of new loss. And it was all but impossible to isolate one event from the other. Speakers, from a ceremony at Ground Zero to a worship service in Washington, paused to honor the hurricane's victims, while rescue workers slogging through New Orleans observed moments of silence for their fallen colleagues now four years gone.

A few blocks from where hijackers slammed two jetliners into the two towers of the World Trade Center, a rudimentary collection jar - a cardboard box with a slit cut into the top - on the countertop of a deli asked for donations, not for Lower Manhattan, but for the Hurricane Katrina survivors. "Fancy Food will match every dollar you give," it promised.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in his short address at Ground Zero, referred to the deadly storm, as well as to the July 7 bombings in London: "Today, as we recite the names of those we lost, our hearts turn as well toward London, our sister city, remembering those she has just lost as well. And to Americans suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, our deepest sympathies go out to you this day."

Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey of New Jersey, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani also made brief remarks at the ceremony, which lasted more than four hours under a bright, sunny sky.

In Washington, not far from where American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, President Bush and Laura Bush attended a morning service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, along with Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney.

The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, quoting Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms in his sermon, spoke of becoming strong again in broken places - namely, New York and New Orleans. Later in the day, the president made his third visit to the gulf region since the hurricane.

In Shanksville, Pa., near where the fourth airliner crashed after passengers stormed the hijackers in the cockpit, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said, "They were innocent lives taken by incredible evil."

In New Orleans, police officers from New York City paused in the streets yesterday morning to read the names of their colleagues who were killed Sept. 11.

"We said we'd never forget," Inspector Michael V. Quinn said. "What we showed here today is that we still remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11."

Hard work in New Orleans eased the pain of the day for some. Officer Joseph Stynes, who works in the Bronx Anticrime Unit in New York, said thoughts of the anniversary had not occurred to him until the ceremony began. "I was thinking about things down here, more so than what happened there."

Elsewhere in New Orleans, about 50 emergency management and military personnel participated in a brief but emotional ceremony at City Hall, where generators provided limited power, and scores of people spend each night on cots or on the floor.

"We can't imagine the level of devastation that has hit your city," said John Paczkowski, the emergency management director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who escaped from the World Trade Center minutes before the building collapsed.

To be sure, the anniversary ceremonies maintained the same focus of remembrance as in years past. Ground Zero became, from before 8 a.m. until after 1 p.m., an island of emotion.

For the first time, siblings of the victims read the names, a new face of pain; parents and children have read in past years. The siblings threaded personal remarks among the names: "I miss talking with you. I miss laughing with you." "Shake it easy, Sal." "We miss you, bro. Be safe." "Help Katrina hurricane victims also."

Memorial services were also held in less predictable places around the world.

In Iraq, in the town of Tikrit, insurgents fired mortars at National Guard troops, a few hours before and a few hours after a ceremony that began at 4:46 p.m. there. At least one soldier appeared to have been injured.

In Keshcarrigan, Ireland, more than 200 people marched behind local firefighters and a bagpipe band to unveil a stone bench and plaque on a lakeshore, dedicated to the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, the Catholic priest and Fire Department chaplain who was among the first responders to die Sept. 11.

Judge's father, who died when the chaplain was a young boy, lived at the site before he emigrated to the United States in 1926.

In Kenya, a country hit twice by al-Qaida bombers, a memorial service was held in Nairobi.

Ben Ole Koissaba complained that the United States has yet to collect the 14 cows that the town of Masai donated to the country in 2002. "If they aren't going to accept the gift, they should be checking the animals from time to time, or they should give them back," he said.

Back in New York, bright spotlights symbolizing the two lost towers were turned on last night, as has been the custom each year.

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