9/11 Observance Will Recall 'Enormous Tragedy of That Terrible Day'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday announced plans for commemorating the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Although September 11, 2002, will not be a city holiday, it won't be an ordinary day, either, he said.

"Our intent is to have a day of observances that are simple and powerful; that honor the memory of those who we lost that day; and that gives New Yorkers, Americans and people around the world the opportunity to remember and reflect," said Bloomberg in a late morning announcement.

Running down the list of events scheduled for Sept. 11, Mayor Bloomberg said the day will begin with a bagpipe-and-drum processional to the World Trade Center. A memorial service at ground zero will begin around 8 a.m., and at 8:46 a.m. - the moment when the first hijacked plane struck the first tower - a moment of silence will be observed citywide.

Mayor Bloomberg said Gov. George Pataki will read a fitting eulogy - Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" - and Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will then lead friends and relatives of the victims in reading the names of all who died at ground zero.

When the name-reading is complete, Bloomberg said, "Taps" will be played, and N.J. Gov. James McGreevey will read an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. The memorial will conclude at 10:29 a.m., the moment when the second of the twin towers collapsed.

Mayor Bloomberg invited houses of worship throughout the city to toll their bells at 10:29, and he urged them to remain open throughout the day for people seeking spiritual solace.

After the memorial service, the relatives of those who died on 9/11 will have an opportunity to step on what many call "sacred ground." Mayor Bloomberg said they will be invited to descend the ramp to the lowest level of the World Trade Center site, where they will take a rose and put it in a vase. Those roses will be part of a permanent memorial when it is eventually built, Mayor Bloomberg said.

Government offices will remain open on Sept. 11. "Students will attend classes," Bloomberg said. "Workers will go to their jobs. We will carry on our responsibilities to our families and our city. However, this will not be an ordinary day for anyone in New York."

Later in the afternoon, President Bush will visit the World Trade Center site, and at sunset that evening, Bush and heads of state from around the world will be invited to attend a ceremony in Battery Park. At that time, an eternal flame will be lit at what is now a temporary memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack.

The day will end with candlelight gatherings in all five boroughs, Mayor Bloomberg said. "Every New Yorker should feel welcome at one of these gatherings."