World recalls 9-11 attacks

Friday, September 12, 2003

LONDON -- World leaders and relatives of victims joined others around the globe in paying tribute Thursday to the thousands of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with services that included a tree-planting ceremony in Australia and the opening of a memorial garden in London.

Governments marked the second anniversary of the attacks by pledging to pursue the campaign against terrorism alongside the United States, with some suggesting similarities between the strikes on New York and Washington and acts of violence in their own countries.

In London, Princess Anne opened a garden of remembrance near the U.S. Embassy dedicated to the 67 British people killed at the World Trade Center. A twisted metal girder from the buildings is buried under the garden.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder branded the attacks "cowardly" and warned that work remained to be done in the war against terrorism.

At Yokosuka Naval Base just south of Tokyo, U.S. military personnel held a wreath-laying service, while people across Japan paid their respects at memorials to the thousands who died, including 24 Japanese.

In Baghdad, the U.S. administrator for Iraq and the commander of American forces joined about 100 civilians and soldiers for a moment of silence at Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace in Baghdad.

L. Paul Bremer and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez bowed their heads as a Scottish bagpiper played "Amazing Grace."

In Australia, hundreds of expatriate Americans and volunteers planted 3,000 trees in a Sydney park in remembrance of the dead, among them at least 10 Australians.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the battle against terrorists would not end anytime soon.

Top Russian officials also paid homage to the victims of Sept. 11, saying Russia's solidarity with the United States was born from shared experience.

"The day on which the black cloud of dust from the collapsed skyscrapers overcast the blue sky over New York will go down in world history," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said.

Moscow has portrayed its battle against rebels in Chechnya as part of the international struggle against terrorism.

In Brussels, Belgium, the 15 European Union governments issued a joint statement reaffirming their "close solidarity" with the United States.

Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller told a memorial ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw that "there are times when it seems the sun is not shining, just like two years ago." In China's Muslim northwest, the regional Communist Party secretary seized the occasion to warn that separatists in the country's Xinjiang region were getting training from international terrorists, including at "several training camps in Pakistan." In Muslim majority Pakistan, about 150 people, mostly children, held a memorial service in Lahore.

"We want to show the world that we are not terrorists," said Aneela Amir, coordinator of the Insan Foundation, a peace group that organized the rally. "In fact we Pakistanis are peace-loving people.

... We pray for the people who died in the World Trade Center." In Afghanistan, residents of Kabul reveled in the changes since the United States ousted the Taliban regime.

"Two years ago, I was in Iran and didn't follow the news. Sept. 11 doesn't mean anything to me, but I'm happy to be back. It's much better now that the war is over," said Leila Ahmadi, 25, who returned to Kabul with her family five months ago.

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