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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Congress Holds Wreath-laying Ceremony to Commemorate 9/11

Aired September 6, 2002 - 14:46   ET

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


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Live to New York now, where the Senate chaplain is reflecting on September 11, just one year ago, as Congress gathers to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks.
We're going to listen in on this special ceremony.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

REV. DANIEL COUGHLIN, HOUSE CHAPLAIN: ... source of strength and courage, we found you in the darkest hours of September 11 a year ago, and now we are standing on hallowed ground, but we really are on the knees of our hearts. With anguish, horror and grief, we remember what happened here on that infamous day of the insidious terrorist attack on our nation.

As the World Trade Center towers were once a metaphor of the might of our human achievement, so too now this ground is the sacred memorial of the divinely inspired and empowered courage of firefighters, police officers, medical personnel and countless crisis- conscripted heroes and heroines.

Oh, gracious God, you never send disaster, but you are always with us to give us power to overcome distress. We pray for the loved ones and families of those who gave their lives to save others. You alone can heal their grief, sustain them in their loneliness and replace their anxiety with your lasting peace. Lord, as we place this wreath, we place it with tender remembrance, but we also express tenacious resolve. We renew our commitment to battle the forces of terrorism in the world today. We place our trust in you. Lead on, oh, King Eternal, grant us victory in the righteous and just war against tyranny and terrorism. Lord, God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget. Amen.

As an expression of our gratitude, there will now be the placing of the wreath, followed by a time for each of us to pray silently for those who gave their lives and for their families and loved ones.

Let us continue in silent prayer.

Let us continue in silent prayer.

Thank you.

And now it is a privilege to introduce to you Juanita Alvarez (ph), who will sing "America the Beautiful."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (sings "America the Beautiful")

COUGHLIN: Juanita Alvarez (ph) is from Stevenson High School, here in New York City, and we express our gratitude to her for singing what we all believe in our hearts.

And now, there is no greater symbol of what we believe as Americans than our flag, and we express our commitment to fight the battle against terrorism in the world as we place these flags, and the commitment of our lives and the energies of our leadership.

PHILLIPS: After a powerful and emotional prayer led by the Senate chaplain and a beautiful rendition of "America the Beautiful," Congress continues to pay tribute to the terrorist attack here in New York at this wreath-laying ceremony at ground zero, celebrating the lives of those saved on September 11 and commemorating the lives lost.

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