Wednesday morning, 9/11/02, began in Manhattan with a non-denominational sunrise service in Robert Wagner Park, just four blocks south of the World Trade Center site and overlooking the Statue of Liberty, whose torch provided the only light for the hundreds of worshippers who gathered.
It is a day President Bush called, “A day of tears, and a day of prayer, and a day of national resolve. It also needs to be a day in which we confirm the values which make us unique and great.”
To the north of what is now known as Ground Zero, New York firefighters marched with bagpipers to the site where so many of their brethren were lost a year ago today.
As Wednesday progresses, there will be a moments of silence — at 8:46 a.m., and at 10:28 a.m., when the second tower fell. In New York and in Washington, there will be readings of the names of the thousands who died.
With the country in a state of high alert against new terrorist attacks, President Bush plans stops in Washington, Pennsylvania and New York — at the sites where the four hijacked planes crashed a year ago — and he will finish the day with a 9 p.m. speech to the nation from Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
Unlike 9/11/01, when the skies over New York City were unimaginably clear, dry and bright, Wednesday’s skies were overcast, with a light but palpable cloud of humidity hanging in the air.
Also lingering: indelible memories of that day.