Floating 9/11 Tribute Brings Faithful To River's Edge
The city's interfaith community gathered Sunday for a glowing ceremony to honor those lost in the September 11th attacks 10 years ago. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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A floating lantern ceremony was held Sunday on the Hudson River off Pier 40 at Houston Street. Messages of hope, peace and remembrance were written on the lanterns, which were then set afloat on the river with the help of kayakers.
Floating lanterns in memory of loved ones is a Japanese tradition. The tribute to the victims of September 11th was a multicultural event organized by the interfaith umbrella group "Prepare NY."
"What this event does is something we've known all along but sometimes we forget when we get scared and that is that we are stronger with each other and in our diversity than we are alone," said Interfaith Center of New York Executive Director Chloe Breyer.
Many who attended say they were looking for some beautiful on a difficult day.
"There was a need to really feel a unity with the city. And in the past 10 years I haven't felt that as much as I feel it today," said one participant.
"I just thought it would be interesting to see people of different faiths here, and to see all the lights out on the water representing the people who died," said another.
Others who attended felt it was important to be part of an interfaith memorial.
"Interfaith is always important no matter if it's September 11th or 12th or whatever, but this day is particularly significant because religious bigotry brought destruction to our city and people of faith if you don't believe in what the terrorists did then you need to come together," said one participant.
Altogether, more than 100 lanterns were set afloat with countless prayers and wishes released with them.