Tag Archives: 9/11

2011 ➤ Tony Hadley sings out for the 67 Brits who died on 9/11

Update: Tony Hadley sings the National Anthem in the British Garden, NYC. Photographs by Luke LoCurcio and John Meese

Update: Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, Canadian first lady Laureen Harper, British consul-general Danny Lopez and Australian consul-general Phil Scanlan stand for each country’s national anthem

❚ IN NEW YORK TODAY AT 13h30, the British vocalist Tony Hadley sings the National Anthem, God Save the Queen, at the memorial concert marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. In the presence of Danny Lopez, HM consul-general in New York, the event is being held in The British Garden, Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan, NYC,  which was created with the endorsement of the British consulate-general to honour the 67 British subjects lost in the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. They were carried out by 19 hijackers seizing four planes, taking nearly 3,000 lives. President Barack Obama said that the tenth anniversary would be a day of “service and remembrance”. White House guidelines emphasise the theme of resilience, and warn of future attacks.

Providing the music along with Tony Hadley are InChorus, The Lothan & Borders Police Choir and Tayside Police Choir, The West Yorkshire Police Brass Band and the Allied Forces Foundation Pipes and Drums.

This year an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to include Australians in the memorial has been gladly accepted by Australian prime minister, the Hon Julia Gillard. In New York Australian consul-general Phil Scanlan joins Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper among distinguished guests at the memorial concert, and the official memorial site includes a dedication to the Australian and Canadian victims of the 9/11 attacks, as well as British and American. The motto of the garden reads “Reflect, Remember, Rebuild”. As explained by Danny Lopez, this signifies that New York City is moving on but not forgetting. Following the ceremony, a gala fundraising dinner is being held on September 12, and funds raised will go toward the ongoing conservancy of the Garden.

Tony Hadley writing at Facebook today at 11:11

Here in New York City for today’s 9/11 Memorial Concert at the British Garden in Hanover Square. I feel very proud to be asked to come over to sing our National Anthem. Thanks to all the British Police I met in Brooklyn last night at the first ever block party that I have been to. It was fantastic. Cheers lads and lasses.

9/11, Memorial Concert, British Garden, Hanover Square, NYC, Tony Hadley, Danny Lopez,

British Garden, Hanover Square, New York, Julian Bannerman,

The British Garden is a modern classic, here photographed in 2010 by Alliance for Downtown New York: sinuous lines are formed by benches and voluptuous topiaries at Hanover Square, in Lower Manhattan. The space was designed by landscape architects Isabel and Julian Bannerman, best known for their work for the Prince of Wales at his Highgrove home. It features City of London-style bollards, paving quarried in Scotland and Wales and benches produced in England and finished in Northern Ireland. All that remains to complete the scheme is the planned stone sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

British Garden , Hanover Square,  New York, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall

First day of their American visit 2005: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Royal Patron of the British Memorial Garden Trust, and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visit the British Memorial Garden in Manhattan

British Garden, Hanover Square,  New York, Prince Harry

Prince Harry plants a magnolia bush as part of New York City’s Million Trees NYC initiative in the British Garden in New York, 2009. Photograph by Richard Drew/AP

British Garden Hanover Square, New York

Official opening on July 6, 2010: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meets local luminaries after cutting a red ribbon to open the British Garden. Photographed by Spencer T Tucker

➢ Gardens of peace — a Daily Telegraph appreciation of the British Garden in New York


2001 ➤ The other 9/11 assassination: could Massoud have become his nation’s spiritual leader?

Ahmad Shah Massoud and followers photographed by the Japanese photographer and anthropologist Hiromi Nagakura who knew him over two decades... “Massoud said to me, ‘We are fighting against terrorism. If we don’t fight here, the war will only expand.’ After September 11, I finally understood what he was talking about.”

❚ SUNDAY IS THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, but this week also marks a decade since Al Qaeda assassinated the one figure who was holding out against its protectors, the Taliban. This was Ahmad Shah Massoud, an Afghan guerrilla commander known variously as The Lion of Panjshir and the Afghan Che Guevara who became the nation’s defence minister. Following his death he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, declared a National Hero of Afghanistan and Sept 9 is now observed there as a national holiday known as Massoud Day.

He was assassinated at the age of 48 two days before the Twin Towers fell, ostensibly as part of the 9/11 process to draw the US into the Afghan war in 2001. Two Tunisian suicide bombers posed as overseas television journalists to interview Massoud in Khvajeh Ba Odin, a small village in north Afghanistan, where they detonated a bomb hidden in their camera.

Ahmad Shah Massoud, postage stampIn 1996, during the civil war in Afghanistan, the Taliban seized the capital city, Kabul, and soon the majority of their fighting force were soldiers imported from abroad by Al Qaeda, the Sunni Islamist militant group founded by Osama Bin Laden and designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations.

In 1989, Massoud had been instrumental in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan. In the 90s, with the Taliban gaining control of 90% of the country, he opposed them by creating the United Front (Northern Alliance), and so posed a constant threat to Al Qaeda.

What was revealed only last December, when the 30-year rule released previously secret UK Cabinet papers, was that western powers had decided in 1980 to provide “discreet support for Afghan guerrilla resistance” after the Soviet invasion of their country. This not only meant Britain secretly supplying arms to Massoud, but also that one faction of the mujahideen fighters were covertly funded by the CIA. These went on to become founding members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

➢ Afghanistan’s “lost pillar of stability” — Listen to yesterday’s flagship Today show on BBC Radio 4, when security correspondent Gordon Corera discussed why Massoud had to die before the Twin Towers fell. If he had lived, many believe Massoud would have become a vital pillar of stability for his nation.

Massoud Tomb, Afghanistan,video,DocsOnline

Annual pilgrimage: Ahmad Shah Massoud’s chauffeur brings flowers from his leader’s garden to his tomb overlooking the Panjshir Valley. (Grabbed from video documentary by Iqbal Malhotra)

➢ VIEW a scene from Ahmad Shah Massoud, a documentary (above) by Indian film-maker Iqbal Malhotra (from DocsOnline)

An Intimate Portrait of the
Legendary Afghan Leader

A freedom fighter, a warrior, a man of God, an intellectual, a humanitarian, a liberal… the list goes on. Massoud was a renaissance man, though his modesty would never acknowledge it. This is perhaps his greatest quality – humility. Unlike radical leaders such as Che Guevara, his desires were modest: Freedom and prosperity for his people.

Massoud was a passionate enemy of terrorism. He strongly objected to any terrorist-style actions by mujahideen during the war with the Soviets, and identified the war against the Taliban as a war against terrorism.

Massoud was a deeply spiritual man and a devout Muslim. It is important to make these distinctions, for “Massoud the man” has perhaps more in common with Mahatma Gandhi than Che. We are exposed to a man of grace, who revelled in the beauty of his country and his creed.

➢ Read more: the biography of Massoud by Marcela Grad is appraised by Justin McCauley in the Vienna Review of Books