NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

N.Y. Mayor, Obama Mark Attacks


I'm Audie Cornish and this is live, special coverage of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I'm joined by NPR's Robert Siegel in New York, and national security correspondent Tom Gjelten is here with me in Washington. Robert, today's guests at the ceremony in New York include President George Bush and President Obama. But in a few minutes, we're actually going to have a moment of silence, correct?


And there will be several of these minutes of silence throughout - or moments of silence throughout the morning. But whether we get to hear from the mayor on time, or whether they decide that they have to break for silence first, I don't know. I think they're improvising at this point.

CORNISH: Correct. And we're describing them as a moment of silence but actually, houses of worship have been asked to toll their bells...


CORNISH: ...at that moment and throughout the day.

SIEGEL: Silence at the ceremony. I think Mayor Bloomberg is taking the lectern right now. Here he is.



CORNISH: Introducing this moment of silence was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Again, this is a moment of silence at ground zero at the World Trade Center.

P: God is our refuge and strength...

CORNISH: And now, President Barack Obama.

OBAMA: He burns the chariot in fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the Earths. The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.


BLOOMBERG: They were they were our neighbors, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents. They were the ones who rushed in, to help. Two thousand, nine-hundred and eighty-three innocent men, women and children. We have asked their families...

CORNISH: Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

BLOOMBERG: ...to come here to speak the names out loud, to remind each of us of a person we lost in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania. And they each had a face, a story, a life cut short from under them. As we listen, let us recall the words of Shakespeare: Let us not measure our sorrow by their worth, for then it will have no end.


WOMAN: Edelmiro Abad.

WOMAN: Maria Rose Abad.

WOMAN: Andrew Anthony Abate.

WOMAN: Vincent Paul Abate.

WOMAN: Laurence Christopher Abel.

WOMAN: Alana Abraham.

WOMAN: William F. Abrahamson.

WOMAN: Richard Anthony Aceto.

WOMAN: Heinrich Bernard Ackermann.

WOMAN: Paul Acquaviva.

WOMAN: Christian Adams.

WOMAN: Donald LaRoy Adams.

CORNISH: Family members at ground zero, reading the names of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

WOMAN: Patrick Adams.

WOMAN: Shannon Lewis Adams.

WOMAN: Stephen George Adams.

WOMAN: Ignatius Udo Adanga.

WOMAN: Christy A. Addamo.

WOMAN: And my beloved son, Joshua Todd Aaron, we miss you and love you forever. You're always in our hearts.

WOMAN: And my sister, Marlyn Capito Bautista, we love you and we miss you. You're always in our hearts.

WOMAN: Terence Edward Adderley Jr.


WOMAN: Lee Adler.

MAN: Daniel Thomas Afflitto.

WOMAN: Emmanuel Akwasi Afuakwah.

MAN: Alok Agarwal...

CORNISH: And Robert, talk a little bit about what we just saw in quick succession. It was President Barack Obama; also Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

SIEGEL: What'll happen throughout the day is 167 pairs of readers - that's a total of 334 people, who are typically relatives of the victims of 9/11, will read a group of the names in alphabetical order, including their own loved one who died that day. And I think we're now up to perhaps the third group of those 167 pairs.

SIEGEL: 03 a.m., in about - what is that, almost 10 minutes?

CORNISH: Correct and...

SIEGEL: Which will...

CORNISH: That's observing the time when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower.

SIEGEL: Struck the South Tower. There will also be performances of music by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, by James Taylor, by Paul Simon. But the main thread of this entire memorial will be occasional readings by the governors of the two states, performances by the artists I mentioned. But essentially, it's the readings of the names of the people who perished here. And that has been the annual anniversary here at 9/11 ever since then.

CORNISH: Yes, all - nearly 3,000 names are read. It usually takes the better part of the day.

SIEGEL: Yes, just under 3,000 people. And of course, what will be different after all this event will be the opening of the memorial that's just behind the stage where the readers are standing. But that will happen first for these very family members of the victims of 9/11, and only open to the public gradually over time.

CORNISH: Tom Gjelten, can you describe a little bit about what is to happen at the Pentagon today?

TOM GJELTEN: Well, Audie, what we're seeing in New York right now, of course, coincides with the moments when the planes hit the World Trade Towers. Shortly, we're going to be shifting attention to the Pentagon. American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon at about 9:40, and we'll have also a moment of silence at that time.

SIEGEL: 07. So around that time, we'll be going there for - again - a moment of silence to commemorate that exact moment.

CORNISH: And at the Pentagon, I hear that they are expecting upwards of 1,200 family members. And there are 150 survivors of the attack on that building; I didn't know that.

GJELTEN: I was at the Pentagon, of course, a year after the 9/11. I was there on 9/11 originally and then for - there have been ceremonies at the Pentagon on each successive year.

CORNISH: And I want to turn now back to New York for a moment. Again, pairs of family members have come forward to read the names of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

WOMAN: Thomas J. Ashton.

WOMAN: Manuel O. Asitimbay.

WOMAN: Gregg A. Atlas.

WOMAN: Gerald Thomas Atwood.

WOMAN: James Audiffred.

WOMAN: Louis F. Aversano Jr.

WOMAN: Ezra Aviles.

WOMAN: Sandy Ayala.

WOMAN: Arlene T. Babakitis.

WOMAN: And my dad, Michael Baksh.

WOMAN: And my sister, Melissa Yvette White. We love you, we miss you, and we'll never forget you.

WOMAN: Eustace R. Bacchus.

WOMAN: John J. Badagliacca.

WOMAN: Jane Ellen Baeszler.

WOMAN: Robert J. Baierwalter.

WOMAN: Andrew J. Bailey.

WOMAN: Brett T. Bailey.

WOMAN: Garnet Ace Bailey.

WOMAN: Tatyana Bakalinskaya.

WOMAN: Michael S. Baksh.

WOMAN: Sharon M. Balkcom.

WOMAN: Michael Andrew Bane.

WOMAN: Katherine Bantis.

WOMAN: Gerard Baptiste.

WOMAN: Walter Baran.

WOMAN: Gerard A. Barbara.

WOMAN: Paul Vincent Barbaro.

WOMAN: James William Barbella.

WOMAN: Victor Daniel Barbosa.

WOMAN: And I'm here today in honor of my father, and Port Authority employee, James William Barbella.

WOMAN: And my uncle and godfather, firefighter Matthew Barnes...

CORNISH: You're listening to live, special coverage of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, from NPR News.

CORNISH: Then And Now, In One Word." It's at our website, NPR.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.