One of the things Mayor Michael Bloomberg insisted on for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was no speeches, at least not from the elected officials who would take turns at the lectern following the six moments of silence throughout the morning—one for each of the four plane strikes, one for the collapse of each World Trade Center tower.
While the mayor’s decision was controversial (New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was none too happy about his soliloquy), the selections proved rather telling, especially since the mayor also banned religious leaders from speaking at the event. This meant that the only prayers said were those of the president and the mayor’s predecessor.
*President Barack Obama, 8:46, Flight 11 strikes the north tower, Psalm 46.
*President George W. Bush, 9:02, Flight 175 hitting the south tower, Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Lydia Bixby.
*Governor Andrew Cuomo, 9:37, Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, passage from Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech.
*Governor Chris Christie, 9:59, Collapse of the south tower, Mary Lee Hall’s “Turn Again to Life.”
*Governor George Pataki, 10:03, Crash of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, “The Names” by Billy Collins.
*Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, 10:28, Fall of the north tower, Ecclesiastes 3:1-9.
Interesting that the two conservative governors read the most progressive pieces.