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Washington National Cathedral's 9/11 anniversary events moved to Kennedy Center

[Episcopal News Service] A series of events at Washington National Cathedral to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have been moved to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts after a 500-foot crane collapsed on the cathedral grounds on Sept. 7.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on Sept. 11 during "A Concert for Hope," the capstone event of a three-day commemoration.

Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III said in a statement: "We are grateful that there were no serious injuries in the crane accident, and while we are disappointed that we will not be able to host our 'Call to Compassion' commemoration in the cathedral itself, we are determined to live out our mission to serve as the spiritual home for the nation as we remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001."

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2700 F Street. An updated schedule of events is available here.

The crane had been erected after the cathedral sustained damage from the magnitude-5.8 earthquake that struck in Virginia on Aug. 23. The crane, which was placed on the south side of the cathedral to allow workers to stabilize damaged sections on the central tower, fell against Herb Cottage -- where the cathedral gift shop is housed -- and crushed several vehicles in the cathedral parking lot.

The building was in the process of being stabilized to ensure it did not pose any risk to visitors.

The cathedral will remain closed indefinitely while the crane investigation is completed and the central tower safety precautions are finished.

"The safety of our visitors and the staff of the cathedral is our top priority, and we will make no compromises when it comes to that responsibility," said Lloyd. "At the same time we will not let obstacles put in our way stop us from fulfilling our mission as the spiritual home for the nation."


Copyright © 2011 Episcopal News Service