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British Victims of September 11 Attacks Honored in London - 2002-09-11


Britain has marked the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. The British victims of the attacks received special commemoration.

About 2,000 people have attended a memorial service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral. Among them were several hundred friends and relatives of the 67 British victims of the attacks.

Also attending were Prince Charles, his son Prince Harry, Prime Minister Tony Blair and the American ambassador to Britain, William Farish.

The ecumenical service included representatives of Britain's Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist communities, as well as leaders of several Christian denominations.

There was a two-minute moment of silence beginning at the precise time that the first airplane hit the World Trade Center in New York City one year ago.

Church of England Bishop Richard Chartres gave the sermon. He said there should be unrelenting pursuit of those responsible for the atrocities. But he said there should also be renewed commitment to fight the evils of famine, poverty, AIDS and violence.

"Wisdom and love demand that just as much energy and resource be assembled in attacking these scourges as are being deployed in the military action against terror," he said.

In a dramatic gesture, about 3,000 rose petals were dropped from the dome of St. Paul's, one for each of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

A British Union Jack flag that was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center draped the altar.

New York Police Lieutenant Frank Dwyer had presented the flag to Britain a few-hours earlier in a ceremony outside the American embassy in London.

"This flag, though torn and tattered, still may be flown. And it is a rich symbol, a symbol of the endurance and the strength of the British people," he said. "And of the pain and agony gone through that day, that consecrated day. This flag belongs back at this land."

British Home Secretary David Blunkett said the flag represents the international spirit the terrorists attacked one year ago.

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