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AMERICAN MOSAIC - September 6, 2002: Sept. 11 Anniversary Observances / Music from Bruce Springsteen's 'The Rising' - 2002-09-05


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today, we play music by Bruce Springsteen and tell how Americans plan to remember the events of September eleventh of last year.

Observances in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania


Wednesday, September eleventh, will be the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States. Officials in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania are preparing ceremonies to remember, and to honor those who were killed. Mary Tillotson has more.


Ceremonies in New York City will begin early Wednesday morning with people playing bagpipes and drums in each of the five areas of the city. These groups will begin marching toward the attack area known as Ground Zero. They will meet there at eight o’clock.

A service will begin forty-six minutes later, when the terrorists crashed the first hijacked plane into the first building of the World Trade Center. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will begin reading the names of the more than two-thousand-eight-hundred people who died in the attack in New York. Several other people will continue reading until all the names are read.

The ceremony will end at ten-twenty-nine, the time the second World Trade Center tower fell. City officials want all religious centers in the city and the country to ring bells at that time.

Families of the victims will then walk into the area to place roses in a vase that will become part of a permanent memorial.

Leaders from around the world are expected to attend other ceremonies in New York at sunset. And candlelight ceremonies will take place in all parts of the city at night.

President Bush is expected to visit Ground Zero during the day. He will also visit the Defense Department headquarters near Washington, D-C, which terrorists also attacked with a hijacked airplane. And he will visit the place in Pennsylvania where the fourth hijacked plane crashed.

Officials in Arlington, Virginia are calling for people in the city to fly American flags at nine-thirty-seven in the morning. That was when the hijacked plane hit the Pentagon. A huge flag will be flown over the Potomac River from the Key Bridge. And a bronze bell in Arlington’s Gateway Park will ring one-hundred-eighty-four times in honor of those who were killed at the Pentagon.

Other events will honor the police, fire and emergency medical workers who were the first to arrive after the hijacked plane hit the Pentagon. About thirty-thousand people are expected to attend a memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the town where the fourth hijacked plane crashed. A bell will ring forty times at the ceremony—one for each victim.

Observances Across the Nation


Americans in other parts of the country also will be observing the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The United States Conference of Mayors says more than one-hundred-seventy cities and towns across the country have planned official events on September eleventh. Reports say more than one-hundred-fifty organizations and communities asked the city of New York for pieces of the World Trade Center ruins. They want to use pieces of the buildings during their remembrance ceremonies.

Bagpipes and church bells are expected to ring out at eight-forty-six in the morning, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Officials in Houston, Texas are expecting more than five-thousand people to take part in a ceremony at City Hall. They will place three-thousand flowers in a pool of water. The flowers represent those who died in the attacks.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs has called for sirens and church bells to ring at the times when the two towers fell.

Officials in Elkhart, Indiana say their ceremony will take place at the same time as the one in New York. Officials there will be reading the names of the police officers, fireman and emergency medical workers who died.

A woman and her daughter from Denver, Colorado have created a huge flag from more than three-thousand pieces of cloth from across the country. The flag will be shown at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. next week.

High school students in Allentown, Pennsylvania created a mosaic picture of the events. They will present it at ceremonies in their town. The city of Anchorage, Alaska will offer free telephone calls for people to speak to loved ones far away. And a memory wall will be built there for people to sign and leave flowers.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, people will plant trees as remembrances that create new life. Many Americans say it is important that the ceremonies remember the horrible events of last year and those who were killed. But they say the ceremonies also should express the love of Americans for their country and their hope for a better, more peaceful future.

Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising”


Bruce Springsteen’s new album was released July thirtieth. It is number one in record sales in more than ten countries. Most of its songs are about the September eleventh terrorist attacks. Shep O’Neal plays some of the songs on the album, “The Rising.”


“You’re Missing” is probably the saddest song on “The Rising.” A woman’s husband has died. She and her children see the many things that belonged to him around the house, but he is gone.


“Into the Fire” is about one of the hundreds of police, firefighters and rescue workers who died in the terrorist attacks. The song honors the love and sense of duty he showed that day. It is also a prayer for the strength and hope that his sacrifice represents.


Songs on “The Rising” also express anger about the attacks. But, the anger is mostly a personal statement, not a political one. The song “Empty Skies” describes the desire to strike back that a person feels after a senseless loss.


The album’s title song appeals to listeners to come together and heal each other. We leave you now with Bruce Springsteen’s hopeful title song, “The Rising.”



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Caty Weaver and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynum. And our producer was Paul Thompson.