Media Watch

Eastern and Central Europeans Support U.S.

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 13 — Tolling church bells and black-swathed fire engines marked the countries of Eastern and Central Europe as they showed their support for the United States, the wire service reported.

Many of the region's countries felt particular anguish at the United States’ sorrow because U.S. aid helped them break with communism. The Czech Republic and Hungary, which were among the first Soviet bloc countries to join NATO, declared Sept. 14 an official day of mourning. Albania, Bosnia and Croatia followed suit.

Hungary's Cardinal Laszlo Paskai celebrated Mass at the Budapest Basilica for the victims, and the country's firefighters tied black ribbons to their trucks in honor of New York's firefighters. All of Hungary's public buildings flew black flags.

In Vienna, Austria, St. Stephen's Cathedral set off the first of about 10,000 church bells that tolled for three minutes across Austria. Government employees observed a minute of silence, as did tens of thousands of other Austrians.

Polish firefighters sounded their sirens in memorial. Romanian police organized blood drives to be shipped to America, and the country's Orthodox Church held memorial prayers across the country.

Croatians placed dozens of bouquets outside the American Embassy.

Three Minutes of Silence Hold Europe's Prayers

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, Sept. 13 — Britain began the three-minute silence observed across much of Europe Sept. 14 to honor those killed in the United States, the London daily reported.

Fifteen European states participated in the day of mourning. Queen Elizabeth II interrupted her holiday in Scotland to attend a service in St. Paul's Cathedral for the relatives and friends of those killed in the attacks.

Tragedy Draws Religions Together in Britain

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, Sept. 13 — If the men who hijacked the planes that slammed into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center meant to drive a wedge between the West and the Islamic world, they did not succeed, the London daily reported.

For the first time ever, Britain's senior Muslim leader stood with Anglican, Catholic and Jewish leaders, and issued a joint statement of sympathy with the United States.

The president of the Muslim College and Chairman of Imams and Mosques, Dr. Zaki Badawi, appeared with Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Catholics and Jews Mourn Together in France

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Sept. 12 — Ceremonies led by the Archbishop of Paris and the Grand Rabbi of France commemorated the victims of Sept. 11, the wire service reported.

Bishop Jean-Marie Lustiger celebrated Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, and Rabbi Joseph Sitruk led Jewish mourners at the nearby Synagogue de la Victoire “as a sign of solidarity with the American people.”