Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
9/11: Congress Remembers
Aired September 06, 2002 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: George Washington stands as a witness to history, then, 9/11 and now. As Congress meets in New York City for first time since 1790, Federal Hall once again becomes a symbol of American leadership and strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our coverage of this special meeting of Congress taking place in New York City, just blocks away from ground zero. I'm Daryn Kagan.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Anderson Cooper.
(INTERRUPTED BY BREAKING NEWS)
KAGAN: Let's look at today's special meeting of Congress, as today marks a rare and symbolic moment in America's history. It's only the second time in more than 200 years that Congress will convene the special meeting outside of Washington.
Our congressional correspondent Kate Snow is at Federal Hall in New York City for this historic occasion.
Kate, good morning.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Daryn.
We are standing right next to the New York Stock Exchange here. This is Wall Street behind me. And right over my shoulder is a statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall. This is a historic place. This is where Congress first had -- this site, not the same building, but this location -- where Congress met in 1789. They met here from 1789 until 1790, when they moved to Philadelphia, and then later to the U.S. Capitol, in Washington D.C.
And it's interesting that the Congress has only met one other time outside of Washington since 1800. And that was back in 1987 -- they met in Philadelphia to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Constitution of the United States. So today only on the second time they have ever left Washington. It was a logistical feat to get all of these members up here.
You are taking a look at some live pictures from inside, I believe. About half of the members of the U.S, Congress have made it here, about 250 members of the House and roughly 40 Senators, Daryn, coming here to celebrate a one-hour special commemorative session. It's not an official session of Congress per se, but it is a commemoration of sorts. They are going to be reading a resolution that they voted on a short time ago that talk about the victims of 9/11, talks about how New York suffered and honors the heroes of this city. Daryn, they say they are trying to show their solidarity with the people of New York, to remind them that Congress has not forgotten -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Kate, we will have you standing by, and as soon as this meeting gets underway, we will be going live. We will be keeping our live cameras on. And we'll be listening in as it begins.
Meanwhile, for some additional perspective on today's special session, we have with us our senior political analyst Bill Schneider, and also Jeff Greenfield, still with us, from Los Angeles.
Gentlemen, thanks for staying with us this morning.
Let's just look at the history right here -- and Bill, we'll go first with you. Some huge things, of course, have happened in this nation's history, and only twice in the last 200 years or so has Congress deemed it worthy to gather outside of Washington D.C. It really does signify how huge today's gathering is.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, in 1987, as Kate mentioned, that was a ceremonial occasion in Philadelphia to commemorate the Constitution. And this, of course, is a more somber occasion to show solidarity between New York and Washington.
I should note that the members of Congress got up at daybreak to take a train from Washington's Union Station. It's a three-hour ride; it used to be four hours, but they have a fast train now on Amtrak between New York and Washington -- and even that's an issue, because there are more and more people taking trains now between the two cities. It's become, I think, the predominant method of commuting between Washington and New York, especially since September 11 and the period of time for about three weeks when Washington's National Airport, a cherished for airport for members of Congress, was closed for three weeks. So people started taking the train. And that is exactly what members of Congress did this morning.
But the fate of Amtrak, which has always been in need of great federal subsidies, is very much an issue before Congress this year.
KAGAN: Let's bring Jeff Greenfield in.
Jeff, what will you be watching with today's events?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: In all candor, I do not think there's going to be a big surprise. This is not an occasion for debate, it's not an occasion for any clash of ideas. The fact that they are here is in and of itself the message. As we said a few moments ago, a Congress, many of whose people who look upon New York City with minimal high regard, who regard it as a center of cultural elitism, liberalism, media arrogance, financial arrogance -- as Kate mentioned, this galley is a block from the stock exchange, many of whose people will be subpoenaed in front of congressional committees -- that in this particular case, that has been swept aside by the sheer horror and brutality of what happened.
I think you'll see now Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle entering the hall.
GREENFIELD: So it looks like they are just about to begin. So it goes back to you folks.
KAGAN: We will take it from there as the members of Congress stand.
Let's go ahead and listen in to this special meeting of U.S. Congress taking place Federal Hall, just four blocks from ground zero.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The special ceremony meeting will be in order. The invocation will be given by the Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin, chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.
REV. DANIEL P. COUGHLIN, CHAPLAIN OF THE HOUSE: Let us pray.
Lord God, this is a day of history. Bless this exceptional joint meeting of the 107th Congress which commemorates the tragic events that occurred here last September 11. The gaping hole left in this city tore into the fabric of this nation, but there was no greater suffering than in New York.
Once again, we commend your loving mercy, the victims, survivors and their families. We also honor those public servants and ordinary citizens who joined professionals in healing wounds and rebuilding lives in this proud city of life and diversity.
Gathered in this historic place, you alone can renew us as you have in the past. May the vision of the founding fathers come alive again in this body politic to preserve the balance of power and assure the freedoms of the law-abiding people of this nation.
The Bible here, used by George Washington when sworn in as president, speaks your consoling word, "I am with you."
Lord God, today is Rosh Hashanah. The traditional Jewish new year prayer is for a good and sweet year. Many things you send us, Lord, are good, but they may hurt or are hurried. So with our Jewish brothers and sisters, we pray today, not only for a year of good things, but a year of sweetness, a chance to relish the blessings of the world and the freedoms you give us, and to enjoy the sweet kindness and love of one another. May this be a good year for all Americans of all faiths, backgrounds and traditions. We pray for a good year for America and for the world.
HASTERT: Thank you, Chaplain.
The chair recognizes the honorable Jerrold Nadler, representative from New York, and the honorable Harry Reid, senator from Nevada, to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag.
(MEMBERS RECITE THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE)
HASTERT: Our national anthem will now be sung by LaChanze.
(NATIONAL ANTHEM SUNG)
HASTERT: Please be seated.
My colleagues, we are here in Federal Hall in New York, New York, pursuant to House concurrent Resolution 448 of the 107th Congress to conduct a special ceremonial meeting in remembrance of the victims and the heroes of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the courage and the spirit of the city of New York.
When representatives of the New York delegation introduced in the House and the Senate in 2001 concurrent resolutions that suggested that the Congress convene outside the seat of government to symbolize the nation's solidarity with New Yorkers, who empitomize the human spirit of courage, resiliance and strength, my initial reaction of support was tempered by the realization that under Article I, Section 5, Clause 4 of the Constitution, quote, "Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn to any other place than which the two houses shall be sitting."
There is no precedent for the convening of an actual session of Congress outside the seat of government. But on one special occasion, the Congress is engaged in ceremonial functions outside of the seat of government. Members of both houses traveled to Philadelphia on July 16, 1987, for organized festivities surrounding the bicentennial anniversary of the Constitution, pursuant to a similar concurrent resolution.
On the strength of the precedent of the uniquely historical and national significance of that occasion, it is appropriate to dedicate another ceremonial gathering to a matter of transcendant importance at another place of basic institutional relevance to the Congress.
Thus, we are gathered in Federal Hall, where the first Congress met in 1789 before moving to the third session of that Congress in Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1790.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are therefore meeting here under that precedent, and the chair recognizes the honorable Richard B. Cheney, the vice president of the United States and president of the United States Senate.
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Each time Congress meets, we are mindful of the great charge that we've all been given as public servants. Assembled today in Federal Hall, we are reminded of the ones who served before us and those who served first. It's a humbling experience to stand in the site where the first Congress met, the first president was sworn, and the Bill of Rights was introduced.
Every member of the House and Senate and every citizen of this country can draw a straight line from the events in Federal Hall to the life we all know today. When Congress convened here, America was a nation of scarcely 4 million souls, the tallest structure in the city was Trinity Church, which still stands at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street.
The roll call of that first Congress included signers of the Declaration of Independence and men who'd marched in George Washington's army. Two gentlemen from Virginia, still in their 30s, served in that Congress. Their names were Madison and Monroe.
All of the members knew that great responsibilities had come to them. As Vice President John Adams observed, "A trust of the greatest magnitude is committed to this legislature, and the eyes of the world are upon you."
In their actions, the members of the first Congress met that test. And although this city was the nation's capital for only a short time, from those early days the eyes of the world have continued to be on New York.
One year ago, this great center of history, enterprise and creativity suffered the gravest of cruelties and showed itself to be a place of valor and generosity and grace. Here, where so many innocent lives were suddenly taken, the world saw acts of kindness and heroism that will be remembered forever.
When President Bush introduced Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki at the joint session last September, it was, said one New Yorker, as if the members of Congress had recognized these two men had come directly off the battlefield.
Today, Congress gathers near that battlefield to honor the character shown and the courage shown in New York these last 360 days, and to remember every innocent life taken in the attacks of September 11.
Since the hour of those attacks, we've been a nation at war, called once again to defend our liberty and our lives and to save humanity from the worst of horrors. As a nation born in revolution, we know that our freedom came at a very high price. We have no intention now of letting it slip away.
The members of the first Congress shaped events long into the future. The same is now asked of us. In the principles we stand for, the values we uphold and the decisions we make, we will set the course of this nation and, with it, the future of human freedom and the peace of the world.
It is not given to us to know every turn of events to come. We know, however, that we are the elected servants of a good, a just and a decent people. May we always act in that spirit, confident in our founding principles, clear in our purposes, choosing wisely, and bowing only to divine providence.
HASTERT: The clerk of the House of the Representatives has laid upon the desk the list of representatives in attendance.
CHENEY: The secretary of the Senate has laid upon the desk the list of senators in attendance.
HASTERT: The chair recognizes the honorable Benjamin Gilman and Charles Rangel, representatives from New York, and the honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, senators from New York, in a reading and presentation of the House concurrent Resolution 448.
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, leaders of the House and the Senate, on behalf of Ben Gilman, Senator Schumer and Senator Clinton and the entire New York congressional delegation, we would like to thank you for your support of this resolution that gives us in New York an opportunity to say thank you for the way you responded to the attack on our city and our state, to give our mayor and our governor an opportunity to be here on this historic event to say, you didn't treat us like New Yorkers, you treated us like Americans.
Whereas on September 11, 2001, thousands of innocent people were killed and injured in a combined terrorist attack involving four hijacked aircrafts, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Whereas in the aftermath of the attacks, thousands more were left grieving for beloved families and friends. Livelihoods were compromised, and businesses and properties were damaged and lost.
REP. BENJAMIN GILMAN (R), NEW YORK: And whereas the greatest loss of life from personal injury and physical destruction occurred in and was sustained by the city of New York. And whereas government and the American people responded decisively, through their bravery, sacrifice in the toil of the fire and rescue workers, law enforcement, building trades, care givers, armed forces, and millions more who, through their many expressions of care and compassion, brought forth comfort, hope and the promise of recovery.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Whereas the city of New York attended to the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center with profound respect for the victims and compassion to the survivors. And whereas the city of New York has invited the Congress to meet at the site of the original Federal Hall, where the first Congress of the United States convened on March 4, 1789. Now, therefore, be it...
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: ... resolved...
... by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, that in remembrance of the victims and the heroes of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the courage and spirit of the city of New York, the Congress shall conduct a special meeting in Federal Hall, New York, New York, on September 6, 2002.
Passed by the House of Representatives July 25, 2002; passed by the Senate July 26, 2002.
HASTERT: Without objection, the members present on behalf of themselves and the Congress of the United States do hereby affirm an aforesaid concurrent resolution.
Would Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki please come forward and accept the concurrent resolution?
HASTERT: The chair recognizes the honorable Vito Fossella, representative from New York, and the honorable Susan Collins, senator from Maine, in a reading and presentation of the commemorative plaque.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE; Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, on behalf of the United States Congress, we present this commemorative plaque to Director Minella (ph) for her stewardship of our nation's treasures, especially this building, Federal Hall.
The plaque is inscribed as follows: "Commemorative joint meeting of the Congress of the United States of America in Federal Hall, New York, New York, this 6th day of September, 2002."
REP. VITO FOSSELLA (R), NEW YORK: "Convened in remembrance of the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the courage and the spirit of the city of New York. This gift to Federal Hall from the Congress of the United States of America was made from a section of Aquia Creek, Virginia, sandstone and used as an original building material of the United States Capitol. It was removed during the east central front extension in 1958."
HASTERT: Director Minella (ph), please come forward and accept the commemorative plaque.
Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States of America, will now read a poem written for this occasion entitled, "The Names."
BILLY COLLINS, U.S. POET LAUREATE: This poem is dedicated to the victims of September 11 and to their survivors. "The Names."
"Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night. A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze. And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows I started with A, with Ackerman (ph), as it happened, then Baxter and Calabro (ph), Davis and Everling (ph), names falling into place as droplets fell through the dark, names printed on the ceiling of the night, names slipping around a watery bend, 26 willows on the banks of a stream.
"In the morning, I walked out barefoot among thousands of flowers, heavy with dew, like the eyes of tears, and each had a name. Fiori (ph), inscribed on a yellow petal, then Gonzales (ph), then Han (ph), Ishikawa (ph) and Jenkins (ph), names written in the air and stitched into the cloth of the day, a name under a photograph taped to a mailbox, monogram on a torn shirt. I see you spelled out on storefront windows and on the bright, unfurled awnings of this city. I say the syllables as I turn a corner, Kelly (ph) and Lee (ph), Madina (ph), Nardella (ph) and O'Connor (ph).
"When I peer into the woods, I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden, as in a puzzle concocted for children, Parker (ph) and Quigley (ph) in the twigs of an ash, Rizzo (ph), Shubert (ph), Torres (ph) and Upton (ph), secrets in the bows of ancient maple. Names written in the pale sky, names rising in the updraft amid buildings, names silent in stone or cried out behind a door, names blown over the Earth and out to sea.
"In the evening, weakening light, the last swallows, a boy on a lake lifts his oars, a woman by a window puts a match to a candle, and the names are outlined on the rose clouds, Vanacor (ph) and Wallace (ph). Let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound, then Young (ph) and Ziminski (ph), the final jolt of Z.
"Names etched on the head of a pin, one name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel, a blue name needled into the skin, names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers, the bright-eyed daughter, the quick son. Alphabet of names in a green field, names in the small tracks of birds, names lifted from a hat or balanced on the tip of the tongue. Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory, so many names there is barely room on the wills of the heart."
HASTERT: The chair now recognizes the honorable Richard Gephardt, representative from Missouri and Democratic leader of the United States House of Representatives.
GEPHARDT: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, and my fellow colleagues of the United States Congress, today we speak of the unspeakable, we remember the unimaginable, and we reaffirm our utmost resolve to defend the birthright of this land and our gift outright to this world -- ideals of liberty and tolerance that will never die. Today we say to the families who look to this September 11 and know that they will know the pain of their piercing loss all over again, we are with you as one, as the family of America. We pray that for you, memory will bring hope as well as tears. We have faith that love outlasts life. And you prove it every day as you carry on the dream of a lost husband or wife for the child that was both of yours and, in the truest sense, always will be.
We think of those last calls on cell phones from a doomed building or a plane, those last goodbyes. Yet the life of a good person is like a wellspring that does not run dry.
Nothing reminds us more powerfully of that than the rescuers of September 11, so many of them taken too, who rescued our national spirit and, amid the smoke and the darkness at noon, sent a flickering light that became a shining beacon for America.
So we've wept together, we've prayed together, given to each other and stood side by side since September 11 in common humanity and national purpose. The sorrow has been matched by strength. America is on a mission, not retribution or revenge, not just to defeat terrorism, but to show once again that good can triumph over evil and freedom can overcome fanaticism, as we did in different forms in a global arena twice before in the past century.
Some say that September 11, 2001, is another date that will live in infamy. Surely that's true, but it's also true that we've never known an assault like this -- not just on our armed forces, but on our people; not just on our buildings and our possessions, or even on the principles that we profess, but on the very foundation of this open, diverse, democratic society.
We've grown accustomed, too accustomed, to war and slaughter in our world. But most always, it was "over there." One place it came before in the heartland was the home-grown terrorism that struck in Oklahoma City. Today our caring and thoughts are there as well. And they are a half a world away with the young Americans who are on the front lines of freedom from fear.
For all our differences, how remarkably one we are all today, from Ground Zero to a sacred field in Pennsylvania, to a shattered but now rebuilt wing of the Pentagon, and all across this broad land.
On the fatal flights of September 11, courage and resistance knew no bounds of party or race or status. They included a young father, a conservative columnist, and a gay man. E Pluribus Unum.
So while we discuss and debate the next decisions, on the fundamental issue let there be no doubt: In this great and faithful struggle, there are no Republicans, there are no Democrats, there are only Americans.
None of us, no matter how long we live or what else marks our time, will ever forget September 11. And all of us, in the name of those who were lost, for a concept of liberty that must never be lost, and in the cause of civilization itself, are as determined as an earlier generation of Americans to gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.
CHENEY: The chair now recognizes the honorable Trent Lott, the senator from Mississippi and the Republican leader of the United States Senate.
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Congress and distinguished guests, on behalf of the Senate and a united Congress, it is truly an honor to stand in this place in this city, New York City, today.
We are here to remember and to continue to mourn those that lost their lives, those innocent men, women and children that were killed in that horrible event, September 11 a year ago. We're here to show our continued appreciation for those that struggled so mightily to free and to save those that were trapped and in the aftermath of the experience here in New York City and at the Pentagon.
We're also here to express our recommitment to the people of New York and Pennsylvania and Virginia that we are with you. We will continue our efforts to help you to rebuild physically and spiritually, and to recommit ourselves to do everything in our power to make sure that America is secure against this horrible event or anything like it ever happening again.
Over the years, New York City has been called many things, from New Amsterdam to the Big Apple. Today, the Congress of the United States, Congressman Rangel, call it home. We're here. We're comfortable here. We're here to stand with the people in this city because it is symbolic of how we stand together all across America.
We came here a year ago, the week after the infamous date. We expressed our commitment, and we have been working ever since to keep that commitment, and we will continue to do so.
This is a special place, as has already been said, because the first Congress began the work here that we continue this day -- the work of ordered liberty, preserving and expanding the freedoms that now, as then, the inalienable right of every person.
Two centuries ago, there were those who thought this was all nonsense. In their ignorance and arrogance, they called America a doomed folly. But history overtook them, and their crowns and armies are part of the dustbin of history.
There are those like them today who cannot see beyond the limits of their own hatred. It's so hard for us in America to even understand why there would be this kind of hatred.
They do not understand that in the unending struggle against tyranny, divine providence, by whatever name we use, is always on the side of freedom. When the first Congress was meeting here in New York in January 1790, President Washington asked its members for the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness and wisdom. As we face today's challenge to our country, we pledge to the people of New York just what we ask of them and all Americans: the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness and wisdom. We have seen it in this city. We have seen it in America. And we are here to do our part in that effort.
The duration of our present conflict and its price may be in doubt, but there can be no doubt as to its outcome. From this city's day of horror and all of the loss and sorrow has come strength. I have seen it all across America, the resolve, a determination which, from Manhattan to Mississippi, now binds us together with the mighty work that lies ahead of us.
Thank you very much.
CHENEY: The chair now recognizes the honorable Tom Daschle, senator from South Dakota and the majority leader of the United States Senate.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, distinguished visitors, and my colleagues, the United States Congress has come here to commemorate a shattering experience, one that has transformed America. The poet Yates, after a moment of violent upheaval in his own country, wrote, "All is changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born."
As we near the first anniversary of September 11 with profound sadness, our hearts ache for those who died and for their families and loved ones. At the same time, we are filled with an abiding sense of gratitude to the people who live and work in this great city, especially the courageous workers and rescuers, for the way they inspired and stunned a wounded nation. In their countless acts of heroism and compassion, a terrible beauty was born. In an hour of horror and grief, they showed us how to go on.
Here in New York, at the Pentagon and in that lonely field in Pennsylvania, the wounds the terrorists inflicted were deep, but America's resolve was even deeper. Let history record that the terrorists failed. They sought to destroy America by attacking what they thought were our greatest strengths. But they did not understand, the true strength of America is not steel, it is not concrete, it is our belief in the ideals enshrined in our Constitution and in our Bill of Rights. It is in our shared faith in liberty and our unwavering commitment to each other. So what happened on September 11 did not diminish our strength, it renewed it.
We stand united today was proud citizens of the oldest and strongest democracy on earth. Our faith in that democracy and in our future is absolute and unshakable. Next Wednesday, September 11, an eternal flame will be lit in Battery Park. That flame will symbolize our determination never, ever to forget. We will never forget the heartbreaking loss. We will never forget the selfless heroism. We will never forget the terrible beauty that was born here one year ago.
HASTERT: We're gathered here today in this ceremonial session to pay tribute to the people of New York and to the people of New York City who have suffered great loss but preserved (sic) in the face of adversity. In doing so, we pay tribute to the American spirit.
It is altogether appropriate that we meet here today in Federal Hall. After all, it was here that the first Congress met to ratify the Bill of Rights and to inaugurate our first president of the United States, George Washington.
As in 1789, when ordinary people, ordinary Americans did extraordinary things to create a new nation conceived in liberty and dedication to freedom, on September 11 ordinary Americans exhibited extraordinary courage in fighting a terrific evil.
New York lost hundreds of sons and daughters in that brutal attack on our nation's freedom. She lost firemen and custodians, stock brokers, police officers, construction workers and executives.
We also suffered a great loss in Virginia, when a plane slammed into the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, when another plane that was headed for Washington, D.C., was brought down by the efforts of brave passengers.
We still feel the loss of every single person who perished on that fateful day. But as we lament the loss of life, we can marvel at the bravery of those who rushed in to help. Such bravery was on display when Battalion Chief Oreo J. Palmer (ph) and Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca (ph), of the New York Fire Department, climbed to the 78th floor of the World Trade Center to organize a rescue. Their efforts saved the lives of dozens of people.
Bravery was also on display when several passengers of United Flight 93 decided that they would not let the terrorists complete their plans. They sacrificed themselves, rather than let the terrorists win.
Stories of uncommon heroism were common on September 11. The genius of America can be found in the sacrifices of these brave martyrs of freedom. As we remember September 11, we must look forward to the day when we complete the task at hand, when we vanquish once and for all the terrorists who seek to take away our nation's freedom.
We thank those Americans who serve in our nation's armed forces, who fight to preserve our freedom and still work to bring terrorists to justice.
We elected members of the 107th Congress, like those members gathered in this location of the first Congress, simply reflect the desires of a people who cherish liberty and are willing to fight for freedom.
Let us always remember those we lost on September 11, and may God continue to bless America.
The Stuyvesant High School Chamber Choir will now sing "God Bless America."
(SINGING OF "GOD BLESS AMERICA")
HASTERT: Ladies and gentlemen of the House and the Senate, this concludes the special ceremonial meeting of the Congress.
Members are asked to remain in their seats and make their exit with the colors.
The chair will assure that the record of these proceedings will be printed in the congressional record.
These proceedings are closed.
COOPER: That concludes a special meeting of Congress in New York City, only the second time Congress has met outside of Washington D.C. in its long history.
KAGAN: About half the members of Congress attended. This has been at Federal Hall, the original hall of the U.S. Congress, making their way back, paying tribute to those that lost their lives and showed so much courage on September 11, almost exactly a year ago from now.
They go from here, they walk up the streets to the Regent Wall Street Hotel. They have lunch with the mayor, Michael Bloomberg. And later, the members of Congress go and lay a wreath at ground zero.
COOPER: And the meeting is being ended by the color guards presented by the New York City Fire Department. Representatives from the police department and New York State Unified Court System Officers, Port Authority of New York and the New Jersey Police to all of the United States Capitol Police.
KAGAN: And while we were bringing you this special coverage, a lot of news taking place around the country and world. All of that coming, all the news, and the headlines coming for you at the top of the hour. But for us, Anderson Cooper, I'm Daryn Kagan, that is going to do it for us. We will see you on Monday morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEPHARDT: On the fatal flights of September 11, courage and resistance knew no bounds of party or race or status. They included a young father, a conservative columnist, and a gay man. E Pluribus Unum.
So while we discuss and debate the next decisions, on the fundamental issue let there be no doubt: In this great and faithful struggle, there are no Republicans, there are no Democrats, there are only Americans.
None of us, no matter how long we live or what else marks our time, will ever forget September 11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com