Ground zero echoes to the sound of silence

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial. Picture: Getty Images Editorial

Stephen McGinty
The Scotsman
12 September 2011

…Yesterday, on the tenth anniversary of the attacks of 11 September, 2001, the silence echoed around the world. There were six separate moments of stillness: one each for the striking of the first and second planes, one each for the collapse of the south and north towers of the World Trade Centre, and one each for the impact into the Pentagon and the crash of United 93 into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Into each silence was poured the memories of 2,977 innocent men, women and children who perished in the deadliest terrorist atrocity the United States has ever seen. Yet remembered too were the thousands of soldiers, both British and American, who died in the wars that followed in its wake.

For Robert Peraza, pictured, it was a day when he could once again kiss his son, Robert David Peraza, who died in the north tower and whose name, like all those lost, is etched out of brass in the new memorial, unveiled for the first time on the site of Ground Zero.

The international day of remembrance yesterday began in the US embassy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, where the flag was lowered to half-mast, and under whose pole lies buried a fragment of the twin towers – a fitting memorial in the land where the destruction was plotted by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

In London the families of the 67 British victims gathered for a service in Grosvenor Chapel.

In Malaysia, a mother wished her dead son “good morning”. For Pathmawathy Navaratnam, her world ended with that of her son, Vijayashanker, a financial analyst. “I am still living, but I am dead inside,” she said.

In Manipur, in north-east India, 100 friends of Jupiter Yambem gathered in memory of the manager of the Windows on the World restaurant, which sat atop the north tower. In Japan, relatives of the 23 employees of the Fuji Bank who died prayed for their spirits.

Yet the eyes of the world, as they were that fateful day a decade ago, were on New York and Ground Zero, where at 8:46am, the precise moment Flight 11 struck the north tower, the Bell of Hope was struck, bringing a moment’s hush to the thousands gathered at the new memorial…

Read the complete article at The Scotsman.

Judi Dench addresses friends and family of victims of the attacks during the tenth anniversary ceremony at the memorial near to the U.S. Embassy in London. Picture: AFP

Also at The Scotsman, Prince and PM pay tribute to lost Britons

Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prince of Wales joined relatives of British 9/11 victims yesterday at a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
About 30 families who lost loved ones in the terrorist atrocities attended the sombre remembrance service at the 11 September memorial garden next to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

Other guests at the moving ceremony included the Duchess of Cornwall, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband, US ambassador to the UK Louis Susman, Dame Judi Dench and London mayor Boris Johnson.

Bereaved relatives of those who died read out the names of the 67 British victims of the attacks and laid a white rose for each of them. The Prince, Mr Cameron and Mr Susman also laid wreaths, and Dame Judi read Christina Rossetti’s poem Remember me, when I am gone away

…Nearby, a group of about 100 men shouted “USA terrorists” and brandished placards with anti-American slogans.

A number of radical Islamic groups, including Muslims Against Crusades, gathered outside the American embassy where they set fire to the American flag during the minute’s silence to commemorate the victims of 9/11…

At Zilla of the Resistance, Londonistan Mohamadeens Burn US Flag, Stab EDL Members with photos and video.

Read more about today’s protests in London: “Islam is Coming in Europe and America” from Gates of Vienna (includes video, below).

The person who posted this video at YouTube wrote:

“An Apology to our American friends on behalf of The British Government & Met Police Hierarchy.
We are so sorry for todays events and would like to say sorry on behalf of the British Public.
Our efforts to try and stop MAC [Muslims Against Crusades] today, has resulted in two good lads being stabbed, running battles on Oxford Street, Hyde Park – Speakers Corner, Edgeware Rd and all around your Embassy.
It is our everlasting shame that our Government is too weak to make a stand against Radical Islam.
Reports will follow”

We posted last year about a similar demonstration on 11 September.

At Allahpundit wrote a beautiful post, “Our last funeral,” which includes some video from Sunday’s memorial services at Ground Zero (and some very good comments):

…I spent last night grieving at the thought that young New Yorkers are already watching footage of the planes hit the towers and feeling no electric charge of familiarity; in a way, the World Trade Center to them will be what the Polo Grounds is to me, a landmark from a lost New York but never part of their own template of where they grew up. When asked where the attacks happened, they’ll say “where the Freedom Tower is.” We live in the same city, but we don’t really.

This is, then, our last funeral in the sense that it’s the last that’s truly “ours.” The shared experience, already slightly diminished, will soon begin to erode in earnest, and while people will never forget, increasingly they won’t exactly “remember” either…

The Astute Bloggers posted a speech broadcast on 11 September 1940 by Prime Minister Winston Churchill:

These cruel, wanton indiscriminate bombings of London are of course a part of Hitler’s invasion plan.

He hopes by killing large numbers of civilians and women and children that he will terrorize and cow the people of this mighty Imperial city and make them a burden and anxiety for the Government, and thus distract our attention unduly from the ferocious onslaught he is preparing.

Little does he know the spirit of the British nation or the tough fibre of the Londoners who forebears played a leading part in the establishment of Parliamentary institutions and who have been bred to value freedom far above their lives.

This wicked man the repository and embodiment of many forms of soul destroying hatred, this monstrous product former wrongs and shames, has now resolved to try to break our famous island race by a process of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction.

What he has done is to kindle a fire in British hearts , here and all over the world , which will glow long after all traces of the conflagrations he has caused in London have been removed.

He has lighted a fire which will burn with a steady and consuming flame until the last vestiges of Nazi tyranny have been burnt out of Europe , and until the Old World and the New can join hands to rebuild the temples of man’s freedom and man’s honour on foundations which will not soon or easily be overthrown.

This is the time for everyone to stand together and hold firm, as they are doing…

Read the whole thing, and follow the links.

Meanwhile, after a wreath-laying ceremony in Shanksville yesterday:


Update:  When British ex-pats dare to tell the truth about home: it’s not just Melanie Phillips anymore.  John Cleese: London is no longer an English city.

H/T DaTechGuy

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