Remembering 9/11

 Uncategorized
Sep 122004
 
Authors: Nicole Davis

NEW YORK-The usual sounds of New York; car horns, bus exhausts

and yelling vendors, were drowned out by another sound last

Saturday- silence.

At 8:46 a.m., the thousands of people who had gathered to honor

the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 2001, attacks, stood in

silence for one minute to represent the time the first plane hit

the World Trade Center towers. The church bells that rang out from

surrounding houses of worship were the only thing that cut through

the silence.

Following a brief opening statement by New York Mayor Micheal

Bloomberg, the names of all 2, 749 victims were read, breaking only

for moments of silence at the time that the second plane struck and

the times that each tower fell.

The reading of names has become a tradition at the Sept. 11,

2001, memorial ceremony. Last year the names were read by children,

this year they were read by parents and grandparents of the

victims.

“It has been said that a child who loses a parent is an orphan,

a man who loses his wife is a widower and a woman who loses her

husband is a widow,” Bloomberg said. “But there is no name for a

parent who loses a child, for there are no words to describe this

pain.”

New York Gov. George Pataki, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevy and

former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani also made brief comments.

Family members were allowed to go down into the area where the

World Trade Center once stood, and where the ceremony took place.

Everyone else who attended the memorial ceremony stood on the edges

of Ground Zero, surrounding the entire site.

Dave Tubens, a New York resident, stood outside the fences,

looking in at the place where, three years ago, he helped with the

search and rescue effort after the attacks. He arrived two hours

after the second plane hit, stayed for three days and has returned

to the site every year since.

“It’s good to see every body out here,” he said. “It is still a

very somber place for me. I still can’t believe that anybody would

do this to other human beings.”

Much has changed since Tubens first was here.

“On (Sept. 11) you knew you were in a war zone; It looked just

like a war zone. Now the rebuilding is going so fast. The No. 7

over there,” he said, pointing to a large skyscraper to his right

that was almost completely obliterated three years ago, “it’s

almost rebuilt.”

On July 4 the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower, the building

that will fill the hole left by the Twin Towers, was placed. The

Freedom Tower is set to be finished in 2009.

“I think physically (Ground Zero) has changed since I was last

here, but not emotionally,” said Sgt. Cathie Lovato, of the

Edgewater Police Department, who was part of a group of more than

15 Colorado law enforcement officials that traveled to New York

specifically for the memorial service.

“It’s more about healing than anything else,” she said.

While reconstruction is moving forward, many things in New York,

and the world, were changed forever by the Sept. 11, 2001,

attacks.

“Perhaps a consequence of 9/11 is that we realized, if we didn’t

realize it before, that we are a part of the world puzzle and we’ve

got to start getting out there and figuring out how we fit,” said

Brian Williams, who is set to replace Tom Brokaw as the NBC Evening

News anchor, in a speech at the Society of Professional Journalists

National Convention on Sept. 10.

This realization is something Cathi Hammond, a Colorado resident

who visited Ground Zero over the weekend, said is hard to truly

understand until you see the site.

“You can feel the horror of it when you are watching something

like that on T.V., but the true reality of that horror doesn’t sink

in until you are here,” Hammond said.

And that horror still resonates with many New York residents

even today, three years later.

“I came here today to show my respect,” said James Harris, a

young New York City resident. “Me and my dad used to come to the

towers all the time. We loved them. We were there the day before

(Sept. 11).”

Harris used to be able to see the towers from his apartment, now

when he looks out his window he sees an empty reminder of the

past.

But for people who don’t have constant reminder of the events of

Sept. 11, 2001, like Harris does, Saturday’s ceremony served that

purpose.

“We came here to remember,” Bloomberg said in his opening

address. “To ask the country and world to remember the people who

were lost.”

 

 

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