On 11th September 2002, at 1.46 pm London time and in common with millions of others around the world, the employees of Whitechapel Bell Foundry observed a one minute silence in memory of all those killed during the terrorist assault on America one year earlier. At that same instant in New York, at 8.46 am local time - the exact moment at which the first hijacked airliner crashed into the World Trade Center - WBF directors Alan and Kathryn Hughes observed the same silence at St. Paul's, a church which had stood in the shadow of the twin towers yet somehow remained totally unscathed when they came crashing down.

Alan and Kathryn were in New York to attend the dedication for the comemorative bell that had been cast here at the Foundry amid much media interest several weeks earlier (see link to 'Casting the 9-11 Bell' at the bottom of this page). That bell, christened 'the Bell of Hope' by Lord Mayor of London the Rt. Hon Alderman Michael Oliver, had been gifted to the City of New York by the City of London and resided at Trinity Church, a short walk from St. Paul's. Those standing anywhere between the two could clearly hear the names of the dead as they were read out in a ceremony at Ground Zero by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and others.

The dedication ceremony at Trinity Church was held at Evensong at 11 am and was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The bell looked splendid in its new frame, which was designed by local architect Paul Byard, and was rung by the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, the very first time the bell had been rung on American soil. This was followed by a sermon from Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Dr. George Carey, and then by the reading of lessons by the Lord Mayor of London and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. Michael Martin, MP. The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA gave the solemn prayer. Three hundred London policemen had provided an honour guard for the service in remembrance of British victims of the attacks the previous evening, and several of these were also present, looking very smart in their full uniforms.

Like everyone else, the directors and employees of Whitechapel Bell Foundry were deeply moved by the terrible events of last year, and are honoured that through the casting and dedication of the bell they were able to play some small part in this first anniversary day of remembrance.

News Archive:
Late-August 2002:
August 2002:
April 2002:
February 2002:
September 2001:
May 2001:
February 2001:
December 1999:
The 1881 Libel Case
Casting the 9-11 Bell
Another Liberty Bell
A Big Wheel
Open Day 2001 (with photos)
Historic Finds at the Foundry
Open Day 2000 (with photos)
Masham and the Millennium

Index Page

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