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Ground Zero Ceremony

Aired September 11, 2002 - 08:45   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: Again today we are a nation that mourns. Again today we take into our hearts and minds those who perished on this site one year ago, and also those who came to toil in the rubble to bring order out of chaos, and those who, throughout these 12 months, have struggled to help us make sense of our despair.
Now we join with our fellow Americans in a minute of silence led by President George W. Bush from the South Law of the White House in Washington.

(MOMENT OF SILENCE)

BLOOMBERG: Thank you.

One hundred and thirty-nine years ago President Abraham Lincoln looked out at his wounded nation as he stood on a once beautiful field that had become its saddest and largest burial ground. Then it was Gettysburg; today it is the World Trade Center where we gather on native soil to share our common grief.

Governor George E. Pataki.

PATAKI: Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, had consecrated far beyond our poor powers to add or detract.

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they, who fought here, have thus far so nobly advanced. It is, rather, for us to be here dedicated to the great tasks remaining before us that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

(APPLAUSE)

BLOOMBERG: They were our neighbors, our husbands, our children, our sisters, our brothers and our wives.

They were our countrymen and our friends. They were us. (READING OF NAMES)

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: What work is this to read all of these names. A 2 and a half year old baby died that day, child barely old enough to talk. An 85-year-old man. They came from 25 different countries. In just a moment, you might have been able to hear the first of the bells. They will ring a bell to mark the time when the second tower was hit and when all of us knew this was no accident -- this was war.

(READING OF NAMES)

BROWN: As each -- I apologize -- as each name is being read, family members are coming down the ramp and go gathering in that circle, and that is what you were seeing there.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: They are being given flowers and also the opportunity to place memorabilia inside that circle of honor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... I told him that I loved him. I would give anything to go back to the morning of September 11 and tell him how much I appreciate everything he has done for me.

But I think he knows that now. In my eyes, he has died a hero, and how much more could you ask for? There is a quote that pretty much speaks for itself, you never lose anything -- not really. Things, people, they go away sooner or later, you can't hold them any more than you can hold the moonlight. But if they have touched you, if they are inside of you, then they are still yours.

Frank, as I look back on these days, I realize how much I'll truly miss you and how much I truly love you. You were the best father I could ever ask for. I miss you, and I hope you didn't hurt too much.

Love, Mary Ann (ph).

BROWN: Oh, Mary Ann, how we all wish we could go back to that day. How we all wish that. A year ago, in this moment, there was so much hysteria here. And in this moment, it won't be all day, there is so much sorrow.

(READING OF NAMES)

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