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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Britain falls silent to honour victims
Silence outside Buckingham Palace
Solidarity: Millions observed a three-minute silence
People around Britain have observed a three-minute silence in a Europe-wide show of solidarity for all victims of the devastating US terror attacks.

Across the UK there were services of remembrance for the dead and missing, after the shocking events which Prime Minister Tony Blair said would touch "every community".

More than 500 Britons are expected to be confirmed dead among more than 5,000 people thought to have died in Tuesday's strikes.

Some 43 European countries and many millions of their residents observed the silence from 1100BST (1000GMT).

Susan Whyte, originally from Minnesota, during the Glasgow three-minute silence
One of many people in the Glasgow tribute
Outside the American Embassy in London - as Big Ben struck 11 - hundreds stood with their heads bowed, in scenes mirrored at countless locations throughout the UK.

Crowds fell silent at a memorial service at City Hall in Belfast. There were also religious services in Londonderry, Armagh and Portadown.

In London the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales, was joining Prime Minister Tony Blair and the American ambassador at a public remembrance service at St Paul's Cathedral from 1200 BST.

Blair pledge

In Parliament, recalled for an emergency debate on the atrocities, MPs and peers stood in silence after many had spoken out condemning the attacks.

Earlier, Mr Blair told members the US terror was a tragedy of "epoch-making proportions", and pledged to bring to account the perpetrators of the "hideous" atrocities.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said the attack highlighted the need for global cooperation in tackling terrorism and said he would look again at the issue of identity cards for UK citizens.

Policeman at the US Embassy in London
Floral tributes have been left at the US embassy in London

The Foreign Office has revealed that 16,000 people called its helpline after the attacks.

At least 100 Britons have been confirmed dead but the number is expected to rise to the "middle hundreds", the foreign secretary has said.

US President Bush George Bush declared Friday a day of national mourning.

The BBC was broadcasting a special live programme, presented by David Dimbleby, on BBC One and all BBC radio and television networks marked the silence.

At Cathays Park in Cardiff, Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan led members in observing the silent tribute.

And Scotland's First Minister Henry McLeish called on Scots to also pay their respects at 1100BST.

Man in tears outside US Emassy three-minute silence
Emotions ran high during the silent tribute

There is room for up to 2,000 people at the St Paul's service, which opened to the public from 1030BST.

But many more are expected to want to attend.

The Dean of St Paul's, the Very Rev John Moses, said: "I think there will be a note of hope in the service. The message we have had from the American embassy is that they want this to be upbeat and not totally solemn, and I hope we will capture something of that."

In Liverpool, a mass to remember those killed and injured in the attack will be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 1715BST. It will be led by the Archbishop of Liverpool.

Flight chaos

Days after the attack, thousands of travellers remain stranded in the UK with most flights to the US still grounded.

US airports are gradually reopening but there are still few transatlantic flights likely to leave the UK on Friday.

On Thursday thousands flocked to the specially-adapted changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

In an unprecedented move, the US National Anthem was played at the ceremony. This was followed by a two-minute silence to remember the dead.

The families of many of the Britons confirmed to have died have been contacted by Scotland Yard's casualty bureau.

None of the confirmed casualties has yet been named.

Useful numbers:

  • Foreign Office/Scotland Yard: 020 7008 0000
  • US Embassy in London: 0207 499 9000
  • Police terrorism hotline (for businesses): 0800 789 321

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Justin Webb
    "Right across Europe three minutes of silence was observed"
    See also:

    14 Sep 01 | UK
    Twin's telephone warning
    13 Sep 01 | UK
    'They told us we were safe'
    14 Sep 01 | Business
    Transatlantic flights resume
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