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Memorial Outside U.S. Embassy in London

Aired September 11, 2002 - 05:01   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: In the next hour and throughout the day, our goal is not to make you relive the horrible events of a year ago. We'll take a look at how America and the world remembers 9/11 and how all of our lives have changed over these past 12 months.
But on this anniversary, there are concerns over new attacks against U.S. interests. The terror threat level is now at orange and that means the risk of an attack is high. In a sign of increased vigilance, portable air defenses around the nation's capital have been armed. It is the first time armed missile launchers, the real things, are protecting Washington since the Cuban missile crisis 40 years ago.

With more on the deployment, we turn to CNN national correspondent Bob Franken, who is live at the Pentagon this morning -- good morning, Bob.


And, of course, a year ago in just a couple of hours, a year ago the Pentagon, right behind me, had been hit by American Airlines Flight 77. of course, they've had this almost miraculous repair here. Operation Phoenix was successful in getting people back into their offices here, where the plane hit, before the anniversary of September 11, as a matter of fact, way before.

And as you pointed out, there is a stringent defense around the city, with the armed missiles around Washington. We, of course, all remember a year ago when the defenses included F-16 jets that took to the air patrolling, looking for the possibility that there may be more plans that would be plowing or trying to plow into the buildings here.

But here you see the first, as you pointed out, the first armed missiles ringing the nation's capital since the Cuban missile crisis. It's an awesome sight, of course. And it's, of course, part of a heightened security alert. Around the country we've gone to the code yellow, which means that there's a high concern about terrorism. Armed forces around the world have gone onto very, very stringent alert, too. In Bahrain, they are in the highest alert that is possible. That, of course, is in a section of the world that is so volatile right now. And there is concern both from the diplomatic community and in diplomatic outposts as well as military outposts about some sort of attack.

So at the same time that the security goes on and this war against terrorism, both offensive and defensive continues, it is a day of remembrance, of course, and the remembrance here is of the 184 victims of the five terrorists aboard American Airlines 77, which plowed into the building right in back of me.

Very hard to tell, isn't it, Carol?

COSTELLO: Oh, it is. The repairs are just amazing. And they've gone at an amazingly fast pace.

Let's go back to the code orange for just a second and what exactly that means. There are no specific threats against the United States, right?

FRANKEN: Well, there are no specific threats, but there has been a combination of information that has come from interrogations and chatter and things that we don't know about, which has led people to be concerned. The most specific information they have is a concern about attacks on facilities overseas. That has, of course, always been a concern.

But they also have information that would suggest that there's a possibility anywhere. And, of course, just the symbolic meaning of this day is considered a very high temptation for the enemies of the United States, the terrorists.

So that combination has caused this ratcheting up in the terrorism rating.

COSTELLO: And the ceremonies at the Pentagon, the president will speak there later this morning?

FRANKEN: The president is going to speak, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is going to speak, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Richard Myers is going to speak. There's going to be a moment of silence at 9:37 p.m., the precise moment a year later that the plane went into this building at the Pentagon. And then there is going to be a tolling of the bells, 184 times, for the victims of this attack.

COSTELLO: It should be very moving.

Bob Franken, thank you very much.

We, of course, are not alone in remembering 9/11. There are ceremonies going on across the globe. Perhaps the biggest is taking place in London right now outside of the U.S. embassy.

Let's go there live.

WILLIAM FARISH, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO BRITAIN: We pay tribute to their memories and to the families and friends who keep those memories alive. We pray that they all may find peace. We gather today in solidarity, united in our determination to wipe terrorism from the face of the earth. This solidarity emerged from our shock at the horror and devastation at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field.

This solidarity endures because of our common belief that all human life is dear and based on our common vision of a world in which people no longer live in fear. We gather here today to say thank you again to all those who rushed to our aid in America's darkest hour and to all those who have stood firmly by our side ever since. Our thanks goes first and foremost to the government and people of the United Kingdom, America's truest friends.

Britain lost so many lives on September 11, more than any other country aside from the United States. And yet you and so many others came forward in tens of thousands to offer every possible kind of support, from beds for American travelers stranded to counseling for survivors over there, from fire companies and congregations that held fundraisers to a small boy who offered me his pocket money right here in the square "to help American children."

We grieve together here in Grovener Square, where the notes and flowers wrote a new chapter in this Square's long history at the heart of the great Anglo-American friendship.

My friends, I speak on behalf of Americans both here and at home. We will never forget your sympathy, your empathy, your moral, emotional and practical support. We continue to draw from your constancy.

It will take much more than a year for the wounds of September 11, 2001 to heal. And it will be a long time, as well, before our struggle against terror is over. But as we face the long and difficult road still ahead, we are proud and grateful as ever to have you by our side.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now it is my very great pleasure to introduce Lieutenant Frank Dwyer of the New York City Police Department.

Lieutenant Dwyer joins us today as an emissary of the city and people of New York. A year ago, Frank was a Fulbright exchange scholar here in the U.K. pursuing studies related to law enforcement at Cambridge University.

He returned to duty in New York just prior to the September 11 attacks and played an important role in the rescue and recovery operations there. It was his privilege to return to the U.K. late in 2001 for an audience with the queen and to convey on behalf of the people of New York City their thanks for the support received from the people of Great Britain.

Ladies and gentlemen, Lieutenant Frank Dwyer.

LT. FRANK DWYER, NYPD: Ambassador, Home Secretary, distinguished guests and to all who have come here on this most important day, this day we, hundreds of citizens from two great democracies and men and women of good will from nations across the planet, gather for a time to make this peace a very sacred ground.

Sacred because we come here not able to stand in a field in Pennsylvania, not able to stand in a field in Pennsylvania, not able to stand at the Pentagon and not able to be at the 16 acres of hallowed ground in New York City that was so wrought with destruction and death that we wish we had never known those memories.

We come to remember the dead and to pray for them. We come to pray for their families and we hope we can help their families somehow find healing. And we come for healing for ourselves.

Some of us particularly remember the emergency workers, the police officers who died in there, the federal agents who died that day, the firefighters, paramedics, all those emergency workers, and the military people who have since died because of those events and those days.

We also come to this place to thank our British brothers and sisters who stood with us for what us truly, literally was our darkest hour. We thank them for their support. We thank them for their courage. We pray for their dead as we pray for our own dead. We wish to express our thanks to them in so many ways.

In one way today, I come from New York to express that thanks, by returning to Great Britain a flag, your flag, a flag found in the rubble of the World Trade Center, recovered by police officers who searched by hand for many months through the rubble at a site just removed over in the Staten Island land fills.

This flag, though torn and tattered, still may be flown. It is a rich symbol, a symbol of endurance and of the strength of the British people and of the pain and the agony gone through that day, that consecrated day.

This flag belongs back at this land.

Mr. Home Secretary, on behalf of the police department and the people of New York, may I present this flag to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the home secretary, the Honorable David Blunkett.

DAVID BLUNKETT, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: Mr. Ambassador, Frank, thank you for the presentation of the flag which I accept on behalf of the British people and the British government, a symbol of the internationalism which was attacked in the World Trade Center.

Above all today, we thank you and commemorate those who died for the tremendous sacrifice that was made. The police and the fire service of New York showed the best of humanity, the greatest bravery and the most tremendous courage. Many of us have read or listened to accounts over the last few days recalling by the police and fire service those terrible hours.

Billy Green on Radio 4 last Sunday spoke of carrying a hundred pounds of equipment up 37 stories whilst everyone else other than he and his comrades were coming down the other way; of the signal to get out after an hour of struggle up the stairs; of the death of those who had made that journey with him. And it reminds us all in the tragedy of a year ago of the strength and the humanity that exists within our world.

So on behalf of the government, can I repeat what the prime minister said a year ago, that at your hour of need, we were with you, just as we are reminded today by the statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt above us, of the commitment of the United States to us here in Europe and the way in which we have fought and worked together for freedom.

President Roosevelt said just before his death the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. That is the message as we gather today, that we owe it to those who died to make a better world, as we've tried already to do in freeing Afghanistan. And we owe it to ourselves to have the courage to face down those who would take away our safety and security and would undermine our democracy.

So I have no hesitation, Mr. Ambassador, in saying this morning god bless America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, Mr. Home Secretary.

And thank you, everyone, once again, for having joined us here on this anniversary to remember with sadness those individuals of over 80 nations who lost their lives one year ago today and to remember with warm pleasure and gratitude the numberless expressions of solidarity and support that the American nation and people have received from our truest friends, as President Bush has called you, the people of the very aptly named Great Britain.

As a final note, I would ask guests and visitors gathered along the walkway to assist us by once again clearing a path so our speakers and a number of visitors may exit.

Thank you again very much.

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: When I survey the wondrous cross on which the prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it lord that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.

COSTELLO: And with that, we'll leave London. A touching memorial service outside of the U.S. embassy in London from the United States' great friends, Great Britain. As you could see, many in the audience watching as the U.S. ambassador to Britain spoke and also a New York City police lieutenant, many with tears in their eyes.




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