Tension overshadows 9/11 anniversary
Associated Press
Sept. 11, 2007 12:00 AM

NEW YORK - Once again, the city will pause for four moments of silence to mark the attacks that killed more than 2,700 people. Family members will lay flowers where the Twin Towers fell, and the names of victims will be read.

But much will be different on the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11, after tense arguments about where to hold the ceremony, whether a presidential candidate should be allowed to speak and if it's still fitting to put on such a large-scale commemoration.

Firefighters, first-responders and construction workers who helped rescue New Yorkers - and many who later recovered victims' bodies - were chosen this year to read the names of the dead in a small public park instead of the World Trade Center site.

After bitterly objecting that they wanted to pay their respects closest to where their loved ones died, family members will be allowed to descend to the site below street level and lay flowers near where the towers stood.

"It's still like visiting a grave on the person's anniversary of their death," said Rosaleen Tallon, whose firefighter brother, Sean Tallon, died that day.

While the list of 2,750 victims killed in New York is read, Osama bin Laden planned to appear in a new video and read the will of one of the hijackers whose plane flew into the North Tower.

Politics has played little part in past ceremonies, when siblings, spouses and children offered heartfelt messages to their lost loved ones.

But the city's firefighters could raise several issues. They are among thousands who say they suffer respiratory problems after inhaling dust from the trade center's collapse.