President Barack Obama will speak at Washington National Cathedral the evening of Sunday, September 11, during A Concert for Hope, the capstone event of a three-day commemoration of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.
“President Obama will visit the three memorial sites in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon on September 11, reminding us all of the tremendous toll that tragic day had on our nation," said Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III. "We are honored that the President will conclude this journey at the National Cathedral.”
The three-day commemoration begins Friday, September 9, with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaking at A Concert to Honor, a memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11 as well as the nearly 6,000 troops who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A Concert to Honor will feature the Brahms Requiem performed by the Marine Chamber Orchestra and United States Navy Band Sea Chanters, along with soprano Christine Brandes, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and the Cathedral Choir. It begins at 7:30 p.m.
During a community gathering day on Saturday, September 10, the Cathedral invites families to attend a free public concert, A Concert to Heal, featuring the Grammy award-winning African American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, Latin pop band Ocho de Bastos, and Afghan-born singer Humayun Khan. ABC7/WJLA-TV anchor Leon Harris will serve as host. The Cathedral grounds will be open dawn to dusk. The concert will be held in the nave from 1 - 3 p.m.
An interfaith prayer vigil from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 11, will include leaders from many faiths gathering in prayer as the Cathedral tolls its 12-ton funeral bell to mark the moments when airplanes struck the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, hit the Pentagon, and crashed in Pennsylvania.
Participating will be Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III; Bishop of Washington John Bryson Chane; Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation; Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche of Tibet, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama; Dr. D.C. Rao, a Hindu priest serving on the Board of Directors of the Inter Faith Conference; Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America; and musician Hamayan Kahn.
At 10:15 a.m., Dean Lloyd will host A Forum on Compassion with author Karen Armstrong. The guided conversation will focus on what people of faith share in common.
A commemorative celebration of Holy Eucharist follows at 11:15.
In addition to President Obama, Sunday evening’s A Concert for Hope will feature renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, country superstar Alan Jackson, and R&B legend Patti LaBelle.
"It is our hope that the Cathedral’s commemoration will move us further down the path toward healing,” said Dean Lloyd.
Tickets are required for all events except those on the morning of Sunday, September 11. To view a full list of events and to reserve tickets, visit www.calltocompassion.com.
All events will be webcast live at www.nationalcathedral.org and take place either in the Cathedral nave or on the grounds located at 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C.
“A Call to Compassion” is the product of the National Cathedral’s collaboration with the Pentagon Memorial Fund, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and the Flight 93 National Memorial, and is made possible by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Additional support comes from F.I.S.H. Foundation, Inc., in support of the National Cathedral’s mission as the spiritual home for the nation.