Children Take Center Stage at Quiet Memorial// (New York)

NEW YORK -- The rawness of public grief and grand memorial yielded to something quieter and more intimate this year, as the nation marked the second anniversary of the terror attacks in which more than 3,000 men and women perished.

In this city, in the canyon where the twin towers once took root, the ceremony bore trappings of the familiar. Once again, a single bell chimed four times -- at 8:46 and 9:05, when the places hit the towers, and at 9:59 and 10:20 when each tower fell. But this time it was the children -- 200 daughters, sons, nieces and nephews of the dead -- who held center stage. They stepped forward in pairs, and one by one read into a microphone the 2,792 names of those lost at the World Trade Center, their high-pitched voices lilting over the canyon and the mourners. With remarkable poise, each child read 14 names, often holding aloft a picture of a mother or father, and upon reaching the parent's name, adding a personal message.

"You're the ultimate father and I love you in my heart," said Jessica Faith Frank, 13, as she read the name of her father, Gary Jay Frank.

Last year, sobs and stifled cries punctured the air during the reading of the names. This year, those who wept did so silently. The sound of the young voices was both haunting and comforting. A.K.M. Chowdhury heard his granddaughter, Nadia, 14, read the name of his son, Abul, who worked and died at Cantor Fitzgerald atop the North Tower.

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Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service


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