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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced New York City’s plans to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attack. As with previous ceremonies, the observance will take place at the World Trade Center site on the morning of Monday, September 11th. Spouses, partners and significant others will play a large role in this year’s ceremony by reading the names of the victims, while music will provide a backdrop throughout the program. The ceremony will pause at four moments – twice to mark the times that each plane hit the towers, and twice to mark the time when each tower fell. The first moment of silence will be at 8:46 AM and houses of worship will be asked to toll their bells at that time. While the names are read, family members will be able to descend the ramp to the lowest level of the site where they may lay flowers. The ceremony will conclude at approximately noon, but the site will remain open to families until 3:00 PM. At sundown, the “Tribute in Light” will return for one night, in memory of those lost and as a symbol of the spirit of our community. The “Tribute in Light” will be located at West and Morris Streets in Lower Manhattan.
“Five years ago, the courage and spirit of New Yorkers was tested in ways we never could have imagined, and in the wake of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, we came together with tremendous strength and compassion to rebuild our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “For those of us who lived through that terrible day, the recollections of it remain achingly vivid, and the sorrow that we feel for the loved ones, neighbors, and friends we lost remains etched in our hearts. The anniversary is a time for prayer and requiem, and it is also an occasion to recommit ourselves to the unwavering spirit that carried us through the worst day in our City’s history, and animated our remarkable recovery in the five years since. The life and vitality that springs from the streets of Lower Manhattan is a testament to the progress that has been made. As we pause to remember those lost and celebrate their lives, we are in fact renewing our commitment to continue the rebuilding process, which will include a powerful and touching memorial in their honor. As acts of terror and violence continue around the world, this memorial will serve as a symbol of hope and freedom, and a source of strength for us. By continuing to show that spirit – by continuing to embrace our freedoms, live with courage, and make this an even better city for all our children – we honor their memory every day of the year.”
“On the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, we will again gather in sorrow and in remembrance to ensure we never forget the magnitude of what happened that fateful day and each and every one of the heroes we lost,” said Governor Pataki. “September 11th will always be a national day of mourning, in honor of the thousands of men and women who were killed and whose lives, actions, and ultimate sacrifices have helped reinforce who we are as Americans, what we stand for, and what our future must be. It will also serve as a testament to the spirit of New Yorkers and of Americans
who stepped forward in our city’s and our nation’s hour of adversity and responded with extraordinary courage and sacrifice – answering terror with strength, and adversity with resolve. Five years ago, the best of mankind stood up to the worst of mankind, fueled by our reverence for freedom and in defense of humanity, civilization, and liberty. We will remember, we will rebuild, and we will move forward with the full confidence of a free people.”
As with previous commemoration events, priority will be given to the families of those who died on September 11th, with public access permitted as space allows. Information about access, transportation and other logistics for the day will be disseminated to the families through the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit.
An outline of the commemoration event program is as follows, and more specific details will be released in September approximately one week prior to the event:
An all-agency honor guard made up of individuals representing City, State, Federal and non-profit agencies including NYC Fire Department (FDNY), NYC Police Department (NYPD), Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) and representatives of the victim’s families will participate in the ceremony.
Letters were mailed to family members in June asking them to suggest spouses, partners and significant others for the reading of the names. Last year’s commemoration ceremony focused on siblings who lost loved ones; the year prior focused on parents or grandparents, and the year before that focused on children.