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Secretary Panetta to Speak at National Cathedral 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Commemoration

Sweet Honey in the Rock and other musical guests also confirmed for the Cathedral’s commemoration

August 29, 2011

CONTACT: Ari Geller or Meredith MacKenzie, Rabinowitz-Dorf Communications:

(202) 265-3000 (o), (202) 689-4985 (c)

or (202) 427-2007 (c)

Washington, D.C.—Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will speak at Washington National Cathedral the evening of Friday, September 9, during “A Concert to Honor,” the first event of the Cathedral’s three-day commemoration of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. Washington National Cathedral is joining the three sites most affected on that day to present “A Call to Compassion,” a weekend of programing that will gather Americans to honor the memories of those who were lost, heal the wounds caused by terrorism and war, and gain new hope to move forward as a nation.

“A Concert for Hope” on Sunday evening, September 11, will feature renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, country superstar Alan Jackson, and R&B legend Patti LaBelle.

“The National Cathedral is called to be the spiritual home for the nation, and particularly to serve as a gathering place in times of mourning and remembrance,” said Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III. “We are honored to be joined by Secretary Panetta as we reflect on the last 10 years; mourn the loss of family members, friends, first responders and military men and women; and find a way to move our nation further along the path toward healing.”

In addition to Panetta, Friday’s “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. This performance will honor the 9/11 victims and survivors, their families, and emergency response personnel, as well as the nearly 6,000 fallen military service members whose lives have since been lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An interfaith vigil on the morning of September 11 will include leaders from many faiths gathering in interfaith 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.

During a Community Gathering Day on Saturday afternoon, 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.

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, please visit

“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.

SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral
Media Contact: Richard Weinberg
(202) 537-5548

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Special thanks to our sponsor: F.I.S.H. Foundation


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Event Schedule

Find out what’s happening and when during "A Call to Compassion."


Watch Online

Can’t make it to D.C.? Watch live video streams from the event here.