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Los Angeles Remembers Tragedy of September 11 - 2002-09-11

Los Angeles was one of the cities across the United States that honored victims of the terror attacks of last September 11. Some people remembered how they were touched by the tragedy and others recalled how it brought the city together.

Relatives of some of those who died September 11 joined in a ceremony outside Los Angeles city hall, where a plaque was unveiled containing the names of the victims.

Joe Bedigian remembered his brother, Carl, a New York City firefighter who died with many of his colleagues. He said that he and his family have been moved by the warmth of strangers.

"You know that people all over the country, all over the world, felt this tragedy, but we just didn't realize how personal they've taken it. Everybody that we've spoken to has just been personally touched by the stories that they hear. It's just been wonderful," he said.

A huge American flag was draped down the front of Los Angeles city hall. At an outdoor ceremony, Mayor Jim Hahn said he has seen a change in his community since last September 11.

"People of different faiths, different beliefs, are beginning to learn more about what binds us together rather than what makes us different. Right here in Los Angeles, Jews and Muslims, two groups who clearly understand the consequences of hate, have joined hands to oppose terrorism," Mayor Hahn said.

At churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, congregations throughout the city also remembered the victims.

Downtown, the Los Angeles police band led a procession to the new Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, for an inter-faith service.

Firefighters and police officers were among the 3,000 people at the service, which was hosted by the actress Anjelica Huston. It opened with a blast from the Jewish ceremonial ram's horn called the "shofar" and a call to prayer from a rabbi.

"The human spirit is the light of God," the rabbi said.

The service also featured an Islamic call to prayer.

There followed remarks and prayers from Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu and other religious leaders.

Muslim community leaders have condemned the terrorist attacks carried out in the name of their religion. An official of the Islamic Center of Southern California, Maher Hathout, repeated that condemnation and offered this pledge.

"That the American Muslim community will work with all of you, all of you, in a partnership to protect our country, to protect its safety, its borders, its institutions, its Bill of Rights, and its constitution, so help us God," he said.

Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony said the tragedy of September 11 has had a positive result for people of his city. He said they are overcoming the boundaries that have divided them.