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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Thousands Come to St. Paul's Church to Pay Respects on 9/11

Aired September 11, 2002 - 10:53   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to return to ground zero and check in with Gary Tuchman, who I have very vivid memories of his reporting in the beginning hours of the crisis.
Gary joins us from -- not far from ground zero, not far from St. Paul's Church where so many people have gone from time to time to pray and reflect.

Gary, have you had an opportunity to talk with any family members either as they've gone into the ceremony today or as they're leaving?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was something else, Paula, standing here on Church Street, which is the eastern most border of ground zero, and watching the family members walk into the site, tears in their eyes. And it just brought me back to a few months ago when we were here for the first memorial service at the site. The sorrow never goes away.

But we come here to the vantage point where we first -- which we first arrived at several hours after this happened on September 11, 2001. It's now the vantage point for thousands of people from all over the world who have come here just to stand, to pay their respects. They've been standing here while the names have been read the last two hours now. They can't see very much from here, but most of these people just want to be here like this couple standing right next to me.

Your name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim Masurek (ph) from Northbrook...

TUCHMAN: And your name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eaton Masurek (ph).

TUCHMAN: And you are from where?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Northbrook, Illinois.

TUCHMAN: Northbrook, Illinois, suburb of Chicago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: Did you come to New York to be part of this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came to New York to work so that I could be part of this, and I wanted to be here on September 11. TUCHMAN: Tell me what made you decide to stand here and listen to the names and be part of this ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's been the most devastating thing that's ever happened in American history. I just wanted to be part of it. To me it was important.

TUCHMAN: How has it made you feel hearing the church bells toll, hearing the names read? I mean this really gives you an idea of how many people died here, how long (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very sad. I'm very sad that this is where our world is at and very frightened to what might still happen. And I just pray to God that there will be some peace and that we can find it fairly soon so our children will be safe.

TUCHMAN: Thank you for talking with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.

TUCHMAN: Standing right next to you are some ladies who have been here also the whole time. Your name please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ann Montoro Williams (ph).

TUCHMAN: And, Ann (ph), where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scranton, Pennsylvania.

TUCHMAN: Ann (ph), I see you have on your lapel a World Trade Center pin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was a gift, and it's a show of support for New York City, the people who work here and live here and serve this city everyday and to let the people that did this know that we're united and we're not afraid of them.

TUCHMAN: How has it made you feel standing here being part of this ceremony?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It meant a lot to me. One of the reasons I came down is one of the names was the name of a brother of a girl I graduated college with. He was a member of the Port Authority Police Department. So when I heard his name, it was especially meaningful.

TUCHMAN: Ann (ph), thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

TUCHMAN: One of the things that was most notable when we got here earlier today, it was completely calm outside. Literally one minute after they read the first name, the winds picked up to like 35 miles per hour. Everybody standing here noticed that.

Paula, back to you. ZAHN: I know Bill Hemmer was reporting a little bit earlier on, Gary, that the one thing that the family members certainly could feel this morning was that rain of dust that was being kicked up by these -- by these heavy winds.

Thank you. We'll be checking in with you throughout the day.

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