Bush to lead September 11 commemoration
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The first notes of the national anthem will sound Tuesday at 8:46 a.m. EST, three months to the minute after the first hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center.
President Bush will lead that remembrance at the White House and has asked that similar ceremonies be held around the world.
Bush has asked the United Nations, international governments and U.S. installations abroad to hold events to mark the three months since the hijacked planes hit the Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
"We will never forget the innocent victims and the brave heroes that died attempting to save them," the White House said in a statement Monday.
"We will never forget the survivors, the children, the devastated families. ... And we will never forget the victims who came from more than 80 countries, and many races and religions."
More than 70 nations around the world -- from Albania to Ukraine -- have agreed to participate in the event, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. They will play their own national anthems or other appropriate music at the appointed times, he said. In addition, the U.S. national anthem will be played at dozens of U.S. embassies.
"The worldwide reaction to the president's request has been very strong," Fleischer said.
Events planned for Tuesday include:
-- A Defense Department ceremony at the exact moment that a hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon at 9:38 a.m.
-- Electronic billboards flashing patriotic messages in New York's Times Square.
-- A NASA commemoration aboard the International Space Station.
-- An event in London with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
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