Day's theme: 'Evil will never win'
Nation and world mark the anniversary of 9/11 accompanied by song and silence.
Nearly universal remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 Wednesday brought a rare sense of shared commemoration to a world often preoccupied by the differences between peoples and nations.
Ceremonies rolled around the globe with the day, starting near the international date line in Australia and New Zealand as thousands of motorists quietly flicked on their lights at 8:46 a.m. local time, the moment when the first airliner struck the World Trade Center in New York.
To Americans the reaction provided a sense of solidarity in grief and a reminder that the tragedies of last year were not theirs alone. Some five hundred citizens of nations other than the United States died in the terrorist attacks, alongside thousands of Americans.
People everywhere found in the day a message of renewal after loss. The tiny Newfoundland town of Gander held a reunion of sorts. Some of the thousands of air travelers stranded there by the forced groundings which followed Sept. 11 returned to thank their erstwhile Canadian hosts.
"Out of this horror came for me the realization that no matter how much evil there is in the world, there are people who are great and wonderful, and evil will never win out," said Continental Airlines pilot Nicholas Dobi, who landed in Gander instead of his intended destination of Milan, Italy, last year.
Two complicating subtexts provided a cautionary note to the day. One was a sense of foreboding amid US government warnings that another attack by Al Qaeda operatives might be imminent. The second was the extensive international opposition to any attack by the US on Iraq in the name of expanding the war on terrorism.
From Bangkok to Britain, protesters opposed to a unilateral US attempt to oust Saddam Hussein dogged otherwise solemn remembrance ceremonies.