NEW YORK, NY (TIP): On the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people India announced its participation in the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden as one of the commonwealth nations. The announcement was made by Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay, at a prayer meeting organized for those who lost their lives in the deadly attack. The British Garden at Hanover Square- a triangular slip of greenery at Pearl and Hanover streets- was commissioned by the British Memorial Garden Trust and given to the city in memory of British citizens who lost their lives during the attacks of September 11 2001 and in the ensuing wars.
A view of the gathering
However in August of 2011, the purpose of the garden was expanded to honor victims from the Commonwealth nations. “We are deeply honored and touched that India has chosen to join us at the Queen Elizabeth II Garden September 11. When we started in 2002 we wanted something to honor back then the British society. However, over the years it became clear that our mission was much wider than just British nationals and changed it to much wider Commonwealth nations,” said British Memorial Garden Trust Chairman, Victor Stewart. He added, “We believe that it is very important that Commonwealth nationals in this international city have a common place that they can go to and reflect upon our common heritage.” “So far Commonwealth nations who have participated include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica and now, it is India.We would like all Commonwealth nations especially those affected by 9/11 to participate,” said Vice Chairman, British Memorial Garden Trust, Rodney Johnson.
Condemning the terrorist attacks, Ambassador Mulay stated, “The Queen Elizabeth II September 11 garden is built in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. India lost about 47 people and this number does not include people who died outside the building or people who are not accounted for and so we thought it is a good gesture to participate and pay homage to people who died.We had a request from the chairman of the garden and we readily agreed.” At the event, Ambassador Mulay recited a Sanskrit prayer to pay homage to those who died in the terrorist attack. Approximately 2996 people were reported dead in the multiple attacks. “We are gathered here to essentially pray for those who sacrificed their lives irrespective of their nationalities or religion and also take this opportunity to condemn all form of terrorism,” said Ambassador Mulay. Those who spoke on the occasion, besides Ambassador Mulay, included Attorney Ravi Batra, George Abraham, and Jagdish Sewhany.