Friday, September 12, 2003

Twin ceremonies here honor terrorism victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff Two separate ceremonies commemorated the Sept. 11, 2001, victims Thursday. The first was a gathering east of the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano in Sabana Norte where firemen and police again paid tribute to their counterparts who died that morning in New York City.

In Barrio Amon, President Abel Pacheco helped dedicate a Jardín de Paz in an underutilized section of parkland just east of Parque Morazán. The country became the first in Latin America to be honored by the Peace Garden Foundation whose president, Paula Savage, praised Costa Rica for being a model for the peace process in the region. There it was Pacheco who brought up the relevance of the day: "Today, the 11th of September, when humanity remembers with pain the terrorist acts that took place in New York and other cities of the United States of America, Costa Ricans raise up a prayer for the victims and reiterate our position of peace — but at the same time our firm stand against terrorism, dictators, wars, torture and violations of human rights in the world.

In Sabana Norte, firemen and Fuerza Pública officers presented floral tributes to Ambassador John J. Danilovich. Christopher Ward, also of the embassy, announced that efforts soon will begin to place a permanent memorial monument at the site to commemorate the victims. A stone placed there last year has been removed by the Municipalidad de San José for safekeeping, officials said. In the centro, Turlough McConnell of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York explained an exhibition entitled :"All Available Boats," the little-known boatlift that took 300,000 people off Manhattan Island that September day.

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