A royal visit
Queen Elizabeth II visited New York on Tuesday, with appearances at the United Nations, ground zero and the British Garden of Remembrance, above, built to honor the 67 Britons killed in the Sept. 11 attack.
NEW YORK — Queen Elizabeth II spoke to the United Nations about stopping global dangers, then paid tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a wreath at ground zero and a ceremony honoring British victims in her first visit to New York in more than 30 years.
“We are not here to reminisce,” the 84-year-old British monarch told the world body Tuesday. “In tomorrow’s world, we must all work together as hard as ever if we are truly to be united nations.”
Not even a record high temperature of 102 degrees, accompanied by a heat advisory, kept the monarch from New York’s hallowed ground.
She arrived at the 16-acre site in lower Manhattan late Tuesday afternoon with her husband, Prince Philip. They moved slowly down a sloping, wooden walkway that reaches deep over the construction site, with huge cranes hovering overhead stopped and workers on a break for the queen’s visit.
In silence, Elizabeth laid a wreath of flowers near the footprint of the trade center’s south tower. Then the queen faced dozens of family members and first responders who had lost loved ones as the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The queen “just was asking me about that day, and how awful it must’ve been,” said Debbie Palmer, whose husband, battalion Fire Chief Orio Palmer, was killed. “She said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in my life as bad as that.’ And I said, ‘Let’s hope we never do again.’”
Elizabeth left the site in a motorcade to tour the Brit- ish Garden of Remembrance, built to honor the 67 Britons killed in the attack. She met their families there.
But not everyone was enthused about her visit. Roman Shusterman held a sign near ground zero that read, “Queen of British Petroleum,” the British company whose rig explosion off the Louisiana coast created one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.
“The queen hasn’t said anything about it because she thinks she’s too good for us,” said Shusterman, 28.
Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to New York on Tuesday included a stop at ground zero, where she left a wreath of flowers.