Obama to speak on 9/11 at National Cathedral

Katherine Frey THE WASHINGTON POST The National Cathedral holds Tour and Tea every Tuesday and Wednesday. On the tour a … Continued

Katherine Frey


The National Cathedral holds Tour and Tea every Tuesday and Wednesday. On the tour a docent talks about this Cross, made from stone fragments from the Pentagon after it was attacked on 9/11.

President Obama will end the Sept. 11 anniversary weekend by speaking that Sunday evening at the National Cathedral, often a place of symbolically important interfaith events. The White House announced the speech on Tuesday.

Obama will speak during the “Concert for Hope,” which also features opera singer Denyce Graves, country singer Alan Jackson and R&B’s Patti LaBelle. The concert follows a day of spiritual and contemplative events at the Cathedral, including a morning interfaith service and a forum discussion about compassion with writer Karen Armstrong.

The Cathedral hosted a major interfaith event in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and this year has three days of events to “mark the passing of a decade since a day that changed the life of every American,” said Samuel T. Lloyd III, the Cathedral’s dean, in a statement.

The events will also mark the re-opening of the building after last week’s earthquake damaged the Gothic Cathedral, toppling three spires that are the highest spots in the city. Cathedral officials say they are spending the week inspecting the hundreds of other limestone ornamental sculptures on the building to make sure nothing could fall.

Katherine Frey


A piece of moon rock is embedded in the Space WIndow, located on the south side of the National Cathedral. It is pointed out by a docent during the tea tour Tuesday, June, 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

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  • LawsLuvr

    re: the cathedral: actually I think it’s outrageous… if you look up at the building, you don’t even notice anything missing. Yet this “charity” who claims to be “charitable” will ask for multiple millions of dollars from poor people, so they can re-make their stone monument… which isn’t even very permanent, obviously. A sad commentary on their pious, hypocritical claims, don’t ya think? (I know, nothing new). Especially when the complaint is thousands of years old and they still say “pthhhhh”.

    I guess they’re lucky their restoration doesn’t have to be offset by “spending cuts”. Maybe we should just convert the US Gov’t into a tax-exempt religious institution and… oh, wait: we already have! pthhhhh.

  • Kingofkings1

    Obama better work on this…lots of people will be paying attention.

    Obama’s challenge: Show alQaida they haven’t won (by minimizing the existence of King, Bachmann, Pipes, Geller, Spencer, etc, and that we haven’t shifted significantly in the American ideals

  • abitt

    Your argument is indeed nothing new, but your representation of the Cathedral community’s reaction as, “pthhhh”, couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Cathedral, as a matter of mission, takes much of the attention and support that it gets, and converts it to the use and support of a number of charitable causes; not just attracting attention to and raising money for good purposes, but literally providing office space and logistical support for such organizations that need it and can be accomodated. A church or charity operating out of a Quonset hut or abandoned warehouse building, despite the very best intentions of those involved, will only very rarely be able to generate the draw, attention or wherewithal to do the things that Washington National Cathedral can and does do, every day.

  • solsticebelle

    Presidents should NOT speak at churches.