Britain Remembers September 11th

Britain Remembers September 11th

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10 years ago today, the piece of an autumn morning in New York was


shattered by events so horrific that they still almost defied


description. First, a passenger plane flew into one tower of the


Trade Center. 17 minutes later, per-second plane smashed into the


second tower. Then the plane smashed into the side of the


Pentagon in Washington, and an plane crashed in Pennsylvania. On


that day, nearly 3000 people lost their lives. They came from 90


different nations, and 67 of them were British citizens. It is those


67 that are being remembered today at a special service of


commemoration here in the very Good afternoon from Grosvenor


Square, or to be precise, from the small area at the east End of the


square that has been made into a memorial garden for those who died


on this day, 10 years ago. With these huge trees on either side, at


the centre the portico and the railed area that is the memorial


garden. It has many connections with America, this square. At the


end of the 18th century, John Adam lived in a house that still stands


in the corner of the square, and he was here as the first ambassador


from America to the Court of St James, a black remembering the


moment he later became America's second President. At the other end


of the square, the west side dominated by the Eagle, the


American flag at half-mast. The embassy that was built in 1960. But


this has long had connections with America. General Eisenhower's


headquarters were here, and his statue stands here, too. He was the


Supreme Commander of the Allied expedition force leading up to D-


Day. In the days after 9/11, it was natural that, to this square,


people were drawn to share their grief. These are the scenes 10


years ago, when they came to show their sympathy for the act of


terrorism the United States had suffered. The September 11th


memorial garden here was created for the families of the 67 British


citizens who were victims, as a kind of quiet place to remember


those who died, many of whom inevitably have no brave. It is


very simple, a pergola hung with wisteria, columns in the centre,


each made with the trunk of oak and a small pavilion which shelters the


three horizontal bronze plaques with the name of all 67 dead.


Carved above these names, which will be read out a day, sometimes


by members of their family, sometimes by it others, above are


the words that her Majesty the Queen spoke in New York at a


service in the week after 9/11. "grief is the price we pay for


Today's service has been organised by the 11th September UK Families


Support Group, and they came together in 2002 to share their


grief so far as they could, and to try to help each other deal with


the trauma of the attacks. Every year they come here at Grosvenor


Square to pay tribute to those they lost, and to the victims of the


terrorist attacks of 9/11. There are nearly 500 people here today


and they will have readings and music and acts of remembrance.


There will be a minute's silence, and then family members will read


out the names of those who died, and perhaps place a white rose on


the memorial stone, a white rose which has come to symbolise each


death ever since, in St Paul's Cathedral, nearly 3000 white rose


petals were dropped on to the Alter. This loss to symbolise those who


had been killed. In the centre of the garden is an oval of York stone,


engraved with the words of a poem which will be read later. This


garden created in memory of all those who lost their lives. Beneath


that is a piece of steel girder from the World Trade Center, and


the words on the poem, on the stone, will be read during the service.


For families who have been gathering since earlier this


afternoon, together with representatives from the American


and British governments, the band who will be performing are in place,


the Thoresby Colliery Band. They first came here in 2003. In America


memorial services are also being held in New York, Washington and


Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The support group for those who mourn


family or friends who were killed on 9/11 is chaired by Alex Clarke.


Her only daughter died in the World Trade Center, and she has played a


very large part in organising today's events, and also helped


She ended up working on fifth Floor of the North Tower. I will never


know what happened during those 102 minutes when the plane hit the


North Tower and when it fell. That is left to my imagination and I


don't let my imagination go there because it will do me no good. This


memorial garden is very important to me because it is a grave, in a


way, for my daughter. It is the only place I have where her name is


that I can go and think of her. One of the nice things about the garden


is a feeling a then closure because of its shape and the hedges around


the outside. One feels cosy and sheltered within it. The plants


were chosen because of their links with America and the United Kingdom,


so we have got this American plant in its origins and Rosemary, which


is a very English plant. Victorians would say this plant is for


remembrance, and it is designed to give, and interest through the year.


The pavilion shelters the names of the 67 British victims who were


killed on September 11th. Inside is where we lay our flowers and leaves


tokens and things like that. The circular stone in the middle has a


poem written in it by Henry Van Dyke, called time. Time is too


short and time is too long, but for those who love time is not. During


my work as a volunteer here in the garden, I work closely with the


wonderful Hyde Park gardener called Clive Taylor, and we spent many


peaceful morning sporting the world to rights in horticultural terms.


Clive, the gardener who has worked with her, will be presented to the


Prince of Wales later this afternoon. The Prince of Wales is


the next guest expected here. Already there is a line-up waiting


to greet him, and among those are the prime minister, Boris Johnson


on the left, the mayor of London, Nick Clegg from the Liberal


Democrats, and in the centre the American ambassador Louis Susman.


He actually saw the second plane crash from an plane. He saw the


crash and was particularly alarmed because his son worked in the World


Trade Center. Luckily, he was not actually in the building. He had


granddaughters nearby and no telephone communication so he was,


like many others here today, steered by those events. So the


Prime Minister is here. Boris Johnson, who unveiled a sculpture


in Battersea Park earlier this week. Ed Miliband, who is turned sideways,


the leader of the opposition. In the background is the music of the


band of the Thoresby Colliery. They come from the middle of Sherwood


Forest and we are invited first of all because they had been heard


playing in St James' Park by one of those involved in these celebration


arrangements or commemoration arrangements. They come from


Edwinstowe, the home of Robin Hood. One of them is still a minor, the


others are not, but there is still a colliery there. The Duchess of


Cornwall and the Prince of Wales now arriving, being greeted by the


Lord-Lieutenant of London. And he has been specially asked for today


as the member of the royal family to be represented here by the


Families Support Group because, from the very beginning, he has


played a prominent part in their work. He was the first person to


sign the book of condolence at the American embassy after 9/11. He is


the patron of the memorial garden that was opened in New York in


Hanover Square, and he has had members of the Families Support


Group both to Clarence House and to high growth over the years so they


know him well and he knows them well. He will be meeting some of


them later on. -- to Highgrove. Alex Clark, who we heard from a


moment ago, who has been responsible or one of the main is


to -- main instigators of these gardens. And the treasurer of the


Families Support Group. And now events will unfold in a very simple


way. Once the Prince of Wales is in his place, the commemoration begins


with the singing of the American National want them. -- national


After that, the US ambassador Louis Susman will be speaking. There will


be one minute of silence introduced by him, and then later the Prince


of Wales himself will speak. Judi Dench will be reading from


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Christina Rossetti's poem, remember Your Royal Highness, Lord


Lieutenant, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Nair -- Mr Meyer,


Mr Miliband, members of the September 11th UK Family Support


Group, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my honour, as


the United States ambassador to the Court of St James, to welcome you


to Grosvenor Square, this small outpost of America right here in


the heart of London. This is a monument to the vital and enduring


partnership between our two nations. That unique relationship was never


more evident than in the days and weeks after 11th September. It was


in this square that thousands of United Kingdom citizens, shocked


and bewildered, but also defiant, came to show their solidarity, to


pay their respects and to sign the book of condolences. Looking back


through the pages of that book recently, I was taken by one


passage in particular. It was signed by the Hodgkin's from Derby.


It said there was no death while memories live, and their memories


will live for ever. Today we are gathered again in Grosvenor Square


to remember once more those 67 men and women from the United Kingdom


who perished on 11th September. To their loved ones, let me say, I am


both honoured and humbled to be standing before your memorial


garden. It is a fitting and dignified memorial that allows all


of us who pass it every day contemplation and reflection. It is


a place of tranquillity. It is a place of beauty. It is a place at


far removed from the chaos and devastation we witnessed a decade


ago. As we all recall where we were on that dreadful September day, the


world, they said, would never be the same. In one sense, that is


true. For those remembering someone close, torn from you in the most


brutal way, deprived from some of life's most treasured moments, 9/11


has, of course, touched your lives in memorably. Yet, our societies


are very strong. Our political institutions and justice systems


still function. Our businesses still trade. Our citizens enjoy


free speech and the right to practise the faith of their choice.


Our commitment to universal rights and human dignity is undiminished.


Far, far from being paralysed by fear, we still focused daily on the


ambitions and aspirations we hold for the families and ourselves. So


the ultimate aim of the 9/11 attacks, to destroy Al way of life,


failed. It failed utterly. And such attacks on our values, whenever


they take place, they will fail. We admire those of you here today you


have reconstructed your lives from grief. We draw on your strength and


your inspiration for example. But more importantly than anything


today, we remember your mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers,


daughters and sons, partners and good friends. Just as we remember


all of the victims who were so tragically lost on that day, 11th


September. We will never, never forget. I ask you now to join me in


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one minute of silence dedicated to Everyone is now seated, and the


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Thoresby Colliery Band will play Every September 11th is a harrowing


day for those who mourn the 67 dead commemorated here. But then every


day or any day the memories come flooding back. During this music we


will hear from three people mourning a father, a son, and a


friend, who have shared their He was the person I had known the


longest in my life. He was therefore everything in my life


that was important. My dad was a real brick -- a real Englishman in


New York. He had just broken his leg and was only back aft deck two


weeks off from work. Neil was involved with Dinah in organising a


conference on the 106 Fall of the north tower. He had been there in


the 1993 bomb attack and said that if anything like that remotely


happened, he would be out, and when the first plane went in he was in


the other tower, so I thought he would be out. The last contact was


the day before, and he informed me late in the afternoon that he was


getting married Andy wedding would take place on 14th October. And


only a few weeks after 14th October, his body was brought back to the


Isle of Lewis, and that is where he is buried. One of the difficulties


of trying to deal with the loss has always been, how did they die? Did


they survive until the towers collapsed? Were they overcome by


fumes? We shall never know the answer to that. His body was found


in a stairwell on the second floor with a number of firemen, so he had


almost got out. He had been hit on the head by a block of masonry.


father's body was never found. I wonder what happened to him. I


wonder what he went through. There was always that kind of not knowing,


and sometimes that is strange to deal with. I think I am dealing


with his last better now, but there are still times when events,


thoughts, films come back and bite me. We've the 10th anniversary I


feel like I want to draw a line under a lot of what has happened.


And, in a sense, move on, although 9/11 and its effects will always


stay, but I hope it does not define the as much as it has. I will


always feels the same loss and sadness in that I have lost my son.


I miss him more than I can really tell you. 10 years on, it's hard


not to think of what Gavin would be doing and the kind of life he would


be having. But I feel now that Gavin is just a very important part


of my life and I'm glad I had him in my life for such a long time,


and that I still have him to think about. The loss of Neil was such a


sudden and unexpected event that it has made me realise that you have


to live for today. Don't put off things which you might otherwise do,


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As the Thoresby Colliery Band finishes Reunion and Finale, Dame


Judi Dench will come and read from Christina Rossetti's poem, Remember


Me. Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land;


When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet


turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our


future that you planned: Only remember me; you understand. It


will be too late to counsel then or pray.


Yet if you should forget me for a while.


And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and


corruption leave. A vestige of the thoughts that once I had. Better by


far you should forget and smile. Than that you should remember and


Dame Judi Dench first read that in Westminster Abbey in 2001 and was


invited back when the memorial garden in Grosvenor Square was


opened in 2003. And now the person who was at the heart of instigating


At this time, 10 years ago, we families were just beginning to


realise that something terrible had happened in New York. And also


Washington, and that our lives had changed for ever. Since this garden


was opened in 2003 we have met here too quietly reflect on bittersweet


-- we read Our love one's names and place a road for them. We remember


also the thousands of people around the world who have also died in the


name of 9/11. Last year, we met and discussed how we wished to mark


this 10th anniversary. We all agreed that whatever we did it


would have to include being here in our garden. And one thing was very


important to us, we wished to say thank you. Thank you to so many


people. It would be impossible to name them all. Many of you here


today have been invited in recognition of their help you have


given us. You were hugely important in Alan early years, and we could


not have come this far without due, For many of fours, this 10th


anniversary will market turning point, a time to try and look for


work, and not back, at past bleak times. I would now like to invite


his Royal Highness the Prince of Prime minister, ambassador, ladies


and gentlemen, we will never forget where we were and what we were


doing on that otherwise ordinary day, and out of a clear blue sky,


came so much premeditated death and destruction on a scale and in a way


that shocked the entire world. But, at the heart of all those endless


and rather impersonal news reports lay the shattered lives and hopes


of all those who we joined here today, both in London and New York.


Those whose loved ones were so cruelly, brutally and pointlessly


torn from them. That was 10 years ago, and for so many of those left


behind it must be an eternity, a continuing awful agony that has to


be endured day-by-day. To say that we understand, that we sympathise,


that we hold you in our thoughts and prayers is true, but I know it


is hopelessly, utterly inadequate. I can at least understand something


of what you have been through, and of how the wounds never really feel


because back in 1979 my great love uncle, Lord Mount Batten, and


others in his group killed or horrifically injured by a terrorist


bomb while sailing peacefully in his boat off the coast of Ireland.


At the time I remember feeling intense anger, even hatred of those


who could even contemplate doing such a thing, but then I began to


reflect that all the greatest wisdom that has come down to us


over the ages speaks of the overriding need to break the law of


cause and effect and somehow to find the strength to search for a


more positive way of overcoming the evil in men's hearts. Of course


this is far easier said than done, and yet I find there are many of us


who are not only tired Perpetual killing, maiming, and since last


terrorism that blights the human family, but bewildered by it, too,


simply because our instinct tells us that seeking revenge never


achieves peacefulness in the end. It is surely only by avoiding


vengefulness that we can rebuild what has been lost and save it from


being lost again. Indeed, I recall that President Abraham Lincoln once


spoke powerfully of having wasted valuable hours imagining revenge or


confusion. He spoke of the practical importance of a forgiving


spirit to dissipate anger and resentment. I can't help feeling he


was right, for it is it not strange that although that dreadful act of


violence was meant to divide us, it has actually drawn us together. One


person to another, one community to another, as it has today. On this


anniversary, we are drawn to you in our thoughts and prayers, knowing


that we can't change the past, but that through struggling to find a


light that can lighten our darkness, we may ultimately bring the healing


the world so desperate needs. -- desperately needs. Three reeds will


now be laid, one by the Prince of Wales, won by the Prime Minister


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Wreaths laid, joining flowers laid by people who have been coming


today. I saw one man put down a Posy of flowers with an inscription


For now family members are going to come forward to read the dames of


their loved ones -- the names of their loved ones at the lectern. If


they choose to lay a white rose, they can do on the memorial stone.


Just as in New York today, the names of nearly 3000 people are


being read out. So, here in London this afternoon, the names of the 67


British citizens who were killed will be read either by members of


their family or by others. Leaving their seats to form a line to go up


to the lectern and read. Young children among them, some far too


young to have been alive in the days after September, 10 years ago.


Many have heard about the death of a grandfather, a brother or a


cousin, but still come here to commemorate them. Christina Sheila


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McNulty. Robin Blair Larkey. Geoff Campbell. Christine Egan. Boyd


Gatton. Neil James Cudmore. Michael William Lomax. Colin McArthur.


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Andrew Vale, Jane Barclay, and my sister Suria Clarke. Our beloved


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My neice, Jane Simpkin. Vincent Wells. Simon Turner. Our brothers,


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Our son, Robert Eaton. Paul Gilbey, Christopher Jones. Gavin MacMahon,


Steve Morris. Alex Napier. To my dearest brother, Richard Dunstan.


In memory of our brother, Nicholas Our beloved brother and uncle, Ian


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My uncle, David Fontana. Neil Robin Wright. Simon Maddison. Michael


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My brother, and Gerry's husband, Rhondell Tankard, Nigel Thompson,


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Our son, Oliver Bennett, known to My brother, Edward Sayer.


beloved uncle, Benjamin James My dearest sister, Sarah Ali, made


peace and blessings always be upon New York City firefighter, Patrick


O'Keeffe. New York City firefighter, Gavin Cushny, Calvin Dawson Caleb


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Brother, son and father, Godwin To our darling daughter, Melanie


Louise Devere. God bless you darling. Marcus Neblett,


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Christopher Newton-Carter. Avnish These children are laid roses poor


families who could not be here today and are laid white roses for


people who could not be here. That ends the readings of their


neighbours and the laying down of roses. And in a moment one of those


who laid a rose, have Ally -- Time is: Too Slow for those who


Wait. Too Swift for those who Fear, Too Long for those who Grieve, Too


Short for those who Rejoice; But for those who Love, Time is not.


The poem written by Henry van Dyke, which is inscribed on the circular


stone inside the memorial garden for, and in a moment the Thoresby


Colliery Band will play again, this time, told Lang Syne and the Last


Post. -- Auld Lang Syne a. And as they play, a last chance to


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remember the 67 British citizens Canon Mark Oakley from St Paul's


Cathedral, who gave the sermon at St Paul's this mortgage will now


With the stirring of the wind, and in the chill of winter, under the


blue sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them. With the


joys we long to share, and in sorrow we bear alone, in work we


have Dodoo and with the life we In treasured memories of the past,


at the dawn of the day and in the In or that they achieved and for


all they might have been, at the dawn of the day and in the setting


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And the playing of the national anthem closes this commemoration


here. The events of that September morning 10 years ago changed many


things in Al world, and led us to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and so


many thousands more were killed, and was followed by similar


atrocities in other parts of the world, Madrid, barley, and in


London, where 52 people died in bombing attacks on 7th July 2005.


They too have their memorial in Hyde Park, the 52 steel columns by


which they are remembered. And for all of us, the world has become a


more uncertain and fearful place, but in truth nothing can stand


comparison with the pain and grief suffered by those who have had


people close to them killed, murdered, in these attacks. People


like these representatives of the 67 British victims of 9/11, who


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