Memorials planned across Europe for Sept. 11 anniversary

LONDON_A leafy square in central London will fall silent on Monday to remember the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

After the minute of silence and the conclusion of the solemn ceremony, Grosvenor Square will fill with music when a concert is held in the Sept. 11 Memorial Garden, across from the U.S. Embassy.

At 1:44 p.m. (1444 GMT), the U.S. ambassador to London, Robert Tuttle, will lay a wreath. Two minutes later, five years to the minute that the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, a minute of silence will be held. Some family members of those who died in the attacks are expected to attend the ceremony.

The evening event in the square is a concert, organized by the British Memorial Garden Trust, as part of the September Concert series. It coordinates free annual concerts around the globe to remember the attacks. A second concert will be held in Bath, England, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) west of London.

The memorial garden is a permanent monument to those killed in the attacks - including 67 Britons - and was opened in 2003. Buried underneath a plaque dedicated to the victims is a section of steel girder from World Trade Center One, preserved in resin.

The garden is the focus for Britain's commemoration of the five-year anniversary of the violence, though smaller memorials and fundraisers will be held across the British capital.

In New York, about two dozen friends and family of British victims of the attacks are expected to attend a separate ceremony at the British Memorial Garden in Hanover Square, which is just blocks from Ground Zero. Prince Andrew is expected to speak at the ceremony, which will feature an honor guard of 67 British police officers, representing the Britons who died in the attacks.

In Rome, Mayor Walter Veltroni and U.S. ambassador Ronald Spogli will observe a minute of silence at the capital's municipal square, which was designed by Michelangelo. A ceremony will also be held at the Italian senate, and Interior Minister Giuliano Amato will attend a conference on freedom and security.

NATO will hold a commemorative ceremony at 1200 GMT in Brussels on Monday, with a ceremonial guard lowering all the 26 member nation flags outside headquarters before a minute's silence to remember the victims of the terror attacks.

And in Helsinki, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said European and Asian leaders at a 38-nation summit there are to hold a moment of silence Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks.

The U.S. Embassy in Germany will hold a memorial service in the American Church in Berlin, which is to be attended by Ambassador William Timken Jr. and German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Mosques in the city held special memorial prayers for the victims of the attacks during Friday's regular services.

<<Associated Press WorldStream -- 09/11/06>>

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