BOSTON – Throughout the weekend and on Monday, St. Anthony Shrine and thousands of people in downtown Boston commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
A 65-foot Wall of Names, listing all who died, hung outside the shrine. “Seeing all of the names in one place makes it that much more touching and real,” said one woman who paused to pay her respects. “They are all heroes,” said another.
Friends and relatives of many of the victims stopped to touch the wall and remember their loved ones. “I will always cherish the memory and spirit of my beloved sister-in-law, who was lost on this day on American Airlines Flight 11,” said Joseph Casey.
“It’s so sad to see the name of one of my students on that wall,” said John Maganzini, “I knew him well because I taught him in the first, sixth, and eighth grades at Holy Cross School in the Bronx, N.Y.”
Throughout the commemoration, participants tolled a suspended 5000-pound bell to honor the dead. The bell, part of the Bells of Remembrance Project returns to Boston each year for the shrine’s Sept. 11 memorial commemorations.
At 12:30 p.m., special prayer cards were distributed, traffic stopped, and David Convertino held a brief memorial service, attended by a large crowd of people, in front of the shrine. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino placed an American flag in front of the Wall of Names, and Hilda Geraigery, a representative from American Airlines who lost several of her co-workers and close friends in the attack, placed a bouquet of white roses. Trumpeter Mark Emory played Taps to end the ceremony.
Inside the shrine, photographs of the 178 New England victims were displayed near the shrine’s Weeping Jesus statue. Candles were lit for each of the victims, and their names were read in the morning at the time when the planes struck and again at noon. Memorials were held at all Masses, and visitors were asked to record their thoughts in memory books.
Comments in the memory books included the following:
- “Try to have faith in people every day.”
- “With profound gratitude for the life of our son, Michael, who is a survivor of the WTC attack.”
- “Remembering hurts — but we will never forget.”