NEWS

How we remember: September 11 and the subsequent war on terror

Wednesday will mark the one-year anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in history. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killed over 3,000 people, most of whom had just started their workday. The victims came from more than 90 countries, and the attacks reverberated around the planet. As we remember our dead this week, in towns and cities across the US and around the world, we will all mark the one-year anniversary in different ways. For most Americans, September 11 will be a day to mourn the loss of life and to reflect on the fact that, however prosperous and however geographically protected, our country remains under threat from dangerous zealots. But it is also a day when we remember the solidarity shown by many countries, including Greece, over the past year. Since the attacks we have, together, defeated the Taliban regime that sheltered Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda operatives. Ninety nations, from Spain to Singapore, have arrested more than 2,400 members of terrorist organizations. While much has been made about the split between European and American publics since September 11, a recent MORI poll showed that most Europeans believe US policy over the past year has been a fair and rational effort to defend itself from further attack. As we look at the world a year after September 11, the US Mission in Greece is sponsoring commemorations, exhibits, lectures and discussions that describe the impact of the attack and the need for civilized people to stand together to defeat terror around the world. A special part of our commemoration is visual. Together with the Attiko Metro, we are sponsoring an exhibition by American photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who had special access to the World Trade Center site and documented the scale of the destruction and the heroism of the rescue teams. This exhibition is currently up in the main hall at the Syntagma Metro station, and will travel to Thessaloniki next week. On September 11, we will hold a ceremony in honor of the victims and their families. The service will feature remarks by a Greek-American New York City fireman who worked in the rescue effort at Ground Zero in Manhattan. Archbishop Christodoulos, joined by Muslim, Jewish and other clergy, will lead a prayer for the dead. The Harlem Gospel Singers will devote two songs to the memory of those who died, both at the service and at their concert Thursday at the Herod Atticus Theater. Greeks will also mark this anniversary in their own official and unofficial ways. Greek citizens died that day in New York. Over the past year, Greece has been a valuable ally in the global war on terror. Greece’s solidarity with us, in remembering the dead and in the campaign against terror, has great meaning for Americans. We thank you for that solidarity and for your continued commitment to the democratic values we seek to protect. Chrysostomos better