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Coventry's Silent Tribute

Coventry fell silent at eleven o'clock this morning as the city joined the international day of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in America.

Coventry Cathedral, recognised worldwide as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, was packed as shoppers, office workers, students and others gathered to show their respects to the thousands of innocent victims of the atrocity.

People from all walks of life and of all ages, many quietly weeping, knelt in prayer before and after the three-minute silence which began at precisely eleven o'clock.

The silence was only broken by the delightful gurgles of a very young baby, a poignant reminder, if it were needed, of the importance of bringing those responsible for the attack to justice.

From inside the cathedral, it was also noticeable that the city itself was still. All traffic noise stopped as drivers pulled their vehicles to the side of the road and paused from their journeys to pay their tribute.

As the silence ended, parties of schoolchildren were ushered quietly away by their teachers as the majority of the congregation remained to continue their prayers, others joining them in a vigil set to continue into the afternoon. Prayers were offered for the victims and their families, for President Bush and his administration and for the British nation, its people and its Government.

On the M6 near Coventry, as eleven o'clock approached, drivers slowed with hazard lights flashing and pulled over to the hard shoulder, the entire motorway coming to a halt for the three minutes of the silence. As it ended, vehicles slowly made their way back onto the main carriageways, each driver allowing those around them to resume their place on the motorway.

These remarkable scenes were echoed throughout the region and across the country as people gave a clear demonstration of their grief and emotions at what Prime Minister Tony Blair described as "an act of wickedness for which there can be no justification."

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CWN / Religion / Coventry Cathedral / 14 Sep 01
1995-2001 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd This page updated 09 August 2002