On three-month attack anniversary, Bush leads three-month commemorations around the world _ and in space

Monday, December 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ At the stroke of 8:46 a.m. EST Tuesday, President Bush will lead a three-month remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. From New York's ground-zero to the Ukraine to the orbiting space shuttle, ceremonies will be begin at the same moment to honor the 3,300 people who died.

Bells will ring in downtown Nashville, Tenn. Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer will release balloons. School children across South Carolina will recite the pledge of allegiance. Aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, the American and Russian crews will hear both countries' anthems.

Events are scheduled in more than 70 countries, the White House said.

The international commemorations are meant in part to remind the world that people from more than 80 countries died in the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon. Bush has been trying to keep together a global anti-terror coalition.

``It's a real sign of how the world stands united against the terrorists who have done this to freedom-loving people everywhere,'' White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

From the White House, Bush was visiting the Citadel, the state military college in Charleston, S.C., to outline his views on the new capabilities and technologies the armed forces will need to fight terrorism.

``We will need the intelligence to find the enemy where he dwells, and the means to strike swiftly across the world,'' Bush said. ``We must have a military organized for decisive and total victory.''

The administration asked Citadel officials for the venue on Tuesday. It was the site of a speech he gave during his presidential campaign in September 1999, and aides distributed that text, eager to point out that the address now seems to have forecast the terrorist attacks two years later.

In that speech, Bush warned of ``an era of car bombers and plutonium merchants and cyberterrorists and drug cartels and unbalanced dictators.''

``Once a strategic afterthought, homeland defense has become an urgent duty,'' he said then.

The wide-ranging speech was also to cover the United States' thawing relationship with Russia, bioterrorism and what Bush sees as the potential for a new world order _ improving long-tense relationships with such nations as Pakistan, India and Russia in the anti-terror campaign.

Mostly, though, Bush was to focus on transforming the military to wage that campaign.

Bush hasn't spelled out exactly what he seeks, but his administration has favored such new-generation military hardware as the Global Hawk, a long-range, high-altitude spy plane.

The president was also going to point out that the transformation will cost money, aides said.

His address comes as House-Senate bargainers try to overcome a $5.3 billion gulf over defense spending. The version the Democratic-controlled Senate approved early Saturday had $2 billion for the military, well below the $7.3 billion that President Bush proposed and the Republican-led House adopted.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that cutting the $7.3 billion Bush wanted for the Pentagon would ``reduce our ability to sustain the operational intensity we will need in the effort to defeat terrorism'' and would ``send the wrong signal to our armed forces and our adversaries.'' The Senate approved its package by voice vote anyway.