Concert, prayer service, vigils planned for Sept. 11 anniversary

Friday, September 10th 2004, 9:16 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ What Andrew Rice wants people to remember about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is that hope didn't die when his brother and thousands of others perished that day.

``No one can quibble with the message of peace,'' Rice said.

Rice will be one of the speakers at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony Saturday evening at the Oklahoma City National Memorial on the third anniversary of the attacks.

``I think it's important to keep historical life-changing events like this in the rearview mirror so we don't forget the horror and sadness,'' said Rice, whose brother David, was killed when a hijacked airplane slammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

The 31-year-old investment banker and Oklahoma native had just been transferred from Chicago to the New York office of his company, Rice said.

Rice will speak a candlelight ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks along with others, who will encourage open discussion about ways to end terrorism and to move forward.

The ceremony will follow a prayer service and candlelight procession that begins at 6:45 p.m. at the Episcopal Center near the Memorial.

Gov. Brad Henry has also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

Rice, a member of the Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, opposes the war in Iraq and questions the reasoning behind the war there.

``Iraqis didn't murder my brother,'' Rice said. ``Those people who attacked my brother are members of a secular regime, extremists, not Iraqis.''

A noontime concert under the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial is also planned for Saturday. The Air Force's Shades of Blue, jazz ensemble will perform as the first in a series of concerts at the memorial, said memorial executive director Kari Watkins.

Officials and servicemen from Tinker Air Force Base will also be at the concert.

``Life moves forward,'' Watkins said. ``We will pause and reflect on the what happened to the victims of 9/11 and April 19, as well as honor the people at Tinker who have served us here and abroad.

``But we have a responsibility as Americans not to be scared on Sept. 11. People will still go to ball games and that's OK. The worse thing we could do to honor them is to stop. These were very progressive people who died and I think they would want us to move forward.''