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Britain remembers NY victims

Never forget: Flowers are laid for WTC victim Simon Maddison by wife Maureen and daughter Sydney
Never forget: Flowers are laid for WTC victim Simon Maddison by wife Maureen and daughter Sydney  

LONDON, England -- Efforts must be made to mend "our wonderful but broken world" the congregation at a memorial service for Britons killed in the U.S. hijack attacks were told.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey highlighted acts of heroism and selflessness during the service in Westminster Abbey, London.

About 80 Britons -- the exact figure is not yet known -- died in the September 11 attacks which triggered the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

Queen Elizabeth II and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair were joined by ex-U.S. President George Bush and the U.S. ambassador to London William Farish for the service which opened with the UK and U.S. national anthems.

About 800 relatives and friends of the murdered Britons were also in the congregation.

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Before the service, the children of Simon Maddison -- a Briton who lived in Florham Park, N.J., and died in the World Trade Center -- gave the queen a bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley on behalf of all those who lost parents in the attacks.

"The real importance of presenting the flowers is about them knowing that their father was so special that even the queen wants to have a memorial service for him and the others who died," their mother, Maureen Maddison, said.

The Queen stopped to speak to Caileigh, 7, and Kyle, 4, with 16-month-old sister Sydney nearby. Their father, 40, worked on the north tower's 103rd floor as a contractor for Cantor Fitzgerald.

Carey said: "Whatever good we bring forth from the events of September 11, nothing and no cause can justify its barbarity.

"Those who claim to be serving God by such appalling and indiscriminate bloodshed are cruelly deceived. They besmirch the very basis of true faith."

He paid tribute to heroism and bravery shown that day.

"Many lives were saved that day by the selfless bravery of others," he said. "And let us remember too the extraordinary heroism of the emergency services in New York -- the police, the fire officers and the medical teams."

The service featured hymns and readings specifically requested by the families of the dead, including two poems read by Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench.

Representatives from companies such as Cantor Fitzgerald and Risk Waters, that lost many employees in the attack, were also attending.

The Queen, paying her personal respects, laid a posy of white roses and lily of the valley entwined with herbs, on the Abbey's Memorial to Innocent Victims, just outside the Great West Door.

Carey also told the congregation moving stories of young professionals facing death far from home who sent final messages to relatives and friends.

"I read of one young man who managed to contact a friend with a message to pass on to his family. His final words were: `I don't think I am going to make it, John -- have a great life.'

"There is something quietly but truly inspiring about this -- that someone staring death in the face should be looking to life, the life of others."


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