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NYC Officials Finalize 9/11 Ceremony

September 10, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Aamoth family will find itself in an unenviable position this Sept. 11.

When the name of each World Trade Center victim is read aloud during Wednesday’s anniversary ceremony in New York, it will be that of Gordy Aamoth that begins the alphabetical list of 2,801 dead and missing.

The Aamoths, of Minneapolis, said they plan to be watching on television as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani begins the recitation with their son’s name.

Giuliani was scheduled to lead a parade of dignitaries reading the victims’ names. Others include Secretary of State Colin Powell, actor Robert De Niro and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

``I’m very pleased and impressed with how dignified, solemn and appropriate the service appears to be,″ said Mary Aamoth, Gordy’s mother. Her 33-year-old son worked on the 104th floor of the south tower.

The program is to begin and end with moments of silence at 8:46 a.m. _ when the first plane hit _ and just before 10:30 a.m., when the second tower collapsed.

After the first moment of silence, Gov. George Pataki will read from the Gettysburg Address, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will introduce the reading of the names.

The ceremony will conclude with a reading from the Declaration of Independence by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey.

Bloomberg said the two historical addresses are relevant in observing the anniversary. The Gettysburg Address ``talks about hallowed ground, it talks of the continuity that’s America. Everything that Abraham Lincoln talked about is still true today.″

The recitation of the names will pause for readings by family members at 9:03 a.m., when the second plane struck, and 9:59 a.m., when the first tower fell. Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Bloomberg, said the passages to be read have not been decided.

Many of the 197 people scheduled to read names lost loved ones in the attacks, such as the widow of Port Authority director Neil Levin, Christy Ferer, and Melissa Ielpi, sister of slain firefighter Jonathan Ielpi.

Relatives of victims who worked for companies that suffered heavy losses, such as Cantor Fitzgerald LLC and Aon Corp., will read many names. Each reader will recite about 14 names.

Some survivors of the attacks also were scheduled to join the ceremony, like Anne Foodim, of Fiduciary Trust Company International; and a reader representing the airlines, Stephen Forte, chief pilot of United Airlines.

The order of readers was finalized over the weekend, according to Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg. Victims’ family members who submitted e-mail requests were chosen by lottery.

At about 9:04 a.m., families are invited to descend the ramp that extends into the seven-story pit, where they can pick up a rose and place it in a vase for an arrangement that will be preserved for a permanent memorial.

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