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Silence, bagpipes mark World Trade Center memorial

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Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, New York's fire department chaplain, and Msgr. David Cassato, New York's police chaplain, lead the crowd in a moment of silence.  


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Bagpipes rang over the jumbled concrete and mangled steel remains of the World Trade Center Thursday as hundreds of New York recovery workers gathered for a memorial service one month after deadly terrorist attacks brought down the symbol of U.S. prosperity.

A moment of silence preceded the service, led by New York Fire Department Chaplain Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Police Chaplain Msgr. David Cassato with New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In brief remarks, Giuliani saluted thousands of people who lost their lives at the site on September 11, when two jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center's twin towers.

"In the name of all of those that we lost here -- our heroes, the firefighters, the police officers, the emergency workers, the citizens going about their lives trying to pursue in their way the American dream, all of whom are heroes -- we remember them, we will always remember them, and to them we will dedicate the rebuilding of New York and making certain that we do not allow the terrorists in any way to break our spirit," the mayor said. "Instead, they have emboldened it."

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Immediately following the service, Saudi Prince Al-Walid announced a significant donation to the Twin Towers Fund for disaster relief.

"We have come here today to offer our condolences to the people of New York, to condemn terrorism, and to donate $10 million to the Twin Towers Fund," the prince said. The city of New York will decide how the money will be used.

Four jetliners were hijacked on September 11; two crashed into the World Trade Center, a third slammed into a side of the Pentagon and a fourth in rural Pennsylvania.

Later Thursday, President Bush and other U.S. leaders spoke at a memorial service at the Pentagon.

New York officials say that 4,815 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks. Workers have recovered 422 bodies; 370 of those have been identified.

Twenty-three police officers and 343 firefighters were lost in the disaster at the World Trade Center.

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Giuliani: "We dedicate the rebuilding of New York" to those lost in the September attacks.  

Potasnik encouraged those at the service not to "look at the devastation over there (in the rubble), but to look at the dedication over here. Don't look at the terrorism over there. Look at the heroism right here."

Giuliani noted the steadfast flames and the hijackers failure to break Americans' spirits. "The fire is still burning," he said, "but from it emerged a stronger spirit, more unified world, a goal of making sure it never happens again."

Nearby, the giant yellow arms of heavy machinery ceased their steady rumble to honor the dead, pausing from their relentless task removing rubble from the ruins of the destroyed towers.

To the strains of the bagpipes at the end of the service, the workers returned to their posts, and the giant machines resumed their somber and tedious undertaking.



 
 
 
 


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