FIVE-BOROUGH TRIBUTE

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

August 1, 2002 --

Simultaneous tributes in parks in each borough will unite New Yorkers on the evening of Sept. 11 as part of the official plans for commemorating the city's darkest day, officials said.

The unity events will come after a roughly two-hour morning ceremony for victims' relatives at Ground Zero - spanning from the time the first plane struck the WTC north tower through the moment the last tower fell.

That nondenomina tion-al service is expected to be marked by moments of silence and low-key tributes.

The evening events are expected to include simultaneous tributes in a park in each borough - Manhattan will have two, one in Central Park and one in Union Square - featuring musical tributes, and will be somehow linked by video broadcasts on large screens, sources said.

In between, officials are hoping for a visit and speech from President Bush, to be set somewhere "symbolic" such as Governors Island, sources said.

Mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler refused to comment on official plans, saying Mayor Bloomberg would announce them publicly soon. Several sources cautioned nothing is definite yet.

At least portions of lower Manhattan are expected to be closed down during the morning.

Costs connected with the city celebrations will be funded in part by a large donation from the National Football League, which is throwing a Times Square party Sept. 5, the same day the Giants kick off the NFL season at the Meadowlands.


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