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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 02:01 GMT 03:01 UK
Queen consoles New York's Britons
Mourners
Mourners remembered the 67 dead Britons
New York's grieving British community has been sent a message of consolation by the Queen to mark the anniversary of the 11 September terror attacks.

She paid tribute to the "very special" people who were lost, and said "right must and will prevail" in the fight against terrorism.

The message was read out by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at a special service in St Thomas Church in the heart of Manhattan on the eve of the anniversary.

The evensong was held in memory of the 67 British killed a year ago and was attended by families of 34 victims, many in tears as they heard the Queen's condolences.


They were killed for being ordinary, free people - Americans, British and others working here in New York

Rev Andrew C Mead
St Thomas Church
Among the mourners was Susan Rescorla, whose British-born husband Rick died evacuating people from the burning World Trade Centre.

She simply said: "I am sick to the stomach".

The Queen began by referring to the "terrible events" of last 11 September and goes on: "Every person who was lost that day was someone very special: a son, a daughter, a father, mother, husband, wife, loved one or valued friend.

"We remember them today for all they mean to us and for the void they leave in our lives."

'New York spirit'

The Queen also honoured the "courage and determination" of the armed forces and "others who are striving to bring those responsible for this outrage to justice and to prevent similar atrocities in the future".

The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, blessed a crucifixion memorial which was inscribed with the Queen's words spoken soon after the attack: "Grief is the price we paid for love."

And in a prayer, Dr Carey called on God to "defeat the powers of darkness that disfigure and distort our world".

Charity and courage

A group of 42 British policemen and women kept an honorary guard at the service.

They entered the church carrying a British and an American flag after marching down Fifth Avenue with 300 of their colleagues.

The Queen added: "The dreadful attacks of September 11 may have threatened freedom, innocence and other values we hold dear, but they also inspired grace, charity and courage."

And she paid tribute to the rescue workers and the "extraordinary spirit and resilience" of New Yorkers.
People outside the church
Mourners comforted each other

Personally thanking the city for its support of grieving Britons, she added: "You have again given practical expression to the true, deep and lasting friendship between our two countries.

"My thoughts and prayers are with you all."

The rector of St Thomas Church, the Reverend Andrew C Mead, told the congregation: "They were killed for being ordinary, free people - Americans, British and others working here in New York, decently using and enjoying their freedom."

Michael Oliver, the Lord Mayor of London, read a lesson at the service.

British mourners were also invited to a special ceremony at Ground Zero on Wednesday morning.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Peter Hunt
"It will be a day of painful, poignant memories"
The BBC's Ian Pannell reports from New York
"Hundreds of people filled the pews and aisles"

New York despatches

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See also:

10 Sep 02 | Americas
10 Sep 02 | Americas
11 Sep 02 | Americas
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