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A Special Session at Federal Hall in New York City

September 06, 2002
A Special Session at Federal Hall in New York City Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
To honor the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Members of Congress wore a special lapel pin at the September 6, 2002, New York City Commemorative Meeting.
On this date, Congress held a special session at Federal Hall in New York City to convey solidarity with New Yorkers a year following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Prior to this meeting, Congress had only convened away from the capital once since 1800, when lawmakers traveled to Philadelphia in 1987, to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution. In the months leading up to the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New Yorkers pushed for a special commemoration. On July 25, 2002, House Majority Leader Dick Armey introduced H. Con. Res. 448 and H. Con. Res. 449. The first bill provided for the special meeting in New York, and the second addressed congressional representation at the event. The Senate passed the resolutions by voice vote the following day. The New York session lasted for less than an hour. House Chaplain Daniel Coughlin led with an invocation, reading from the Bible used in George Washington’s inauguration from April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall, Congress’ first meeting place. Approximately 250 House Members and 50 Senators crowded into the building’s rotunda. Congressional leadership delivered speeches and presented New York City officials with a flag that had flown over the Capitol on September 11, 2001. Members also attended an afternoon wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero. “It is a very nice, symbolic gesture of solidarity with the people of New York,” observed Representative Jerrold L. Nadler, whose district included Lower Manhattan. “New York was not attacked because they had something against New York. New York was attacked because it is the symbolic capital of the country.”

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