Lord Mayor presents the Bell of Hope in New York

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New York, London (ots) - The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Oliver, in a moving ceremony in New York today presented the Bell of Hope that he had specially cast to commemorate September 11 2001.

He said: "It is my great privilege at this momentous time to present this bell on behalf of the City of London to Trinity Church, Wall Street. This is in remembrance of the terrible attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11 of last year. In presenting this bell, I am mindful of the great history which links our two cities, over centuries of achievement - and especially in times of conflict and adversity.

"Trinity Church itself is the daughter church of St Mary-le-Bow in the City of London. After the end of the Second World War, St Mary-le-Bow sent a bell to Trinity in grateful remembrance of the contribution of the United States of America towards the Allied victory.

"Once more we offer you a bell as a sign of empathy. It represents the deep and abiding friendship of the people of London for the people of New York after the tragedy of 9/11.

"Terrorism has become the scourge of the modern world, and in facing this threat London stands shoulder to shoulder with New York. "May the Bell ring out loud and clear to celebrate the spirit and resilience of the people of New York."

The Lord Mayor made two powerful speeches later in the day affirming the close ties of friendship between the City of London and the City of New York.

At a lunch hosted by the Rector of Trinity Church, he said: "The ties between London and New York are immensely strong and important, and never was this more clear than during the dark hours and days of September last year.

"At that terrible time, London was prouder than ever to be New York's sister city. Standing by to offer support and solidarity as you bravely faced the challenge of the terrorists.

"Terrorism is the scourge of the modern world, and we must all work together to defeat it. It is a menace that can strike anywhere, but, as last September so tragically proved, centres such as London and New York will always be targets for those seeking to cause devastation and despair.

"We are united in our determination to overcome this terrible menace to society, not only through sharing information and skills, but also by refusing to be bowed by the terrorists' threats.

"By taking encouragement from one another, we can stand firm against this terror. The fight against terrorism goes on. But it is the strong friendship between the citizens of New York and London which offers the hope of destroying the terrorists themselves."

At a dinner last night, the Lord Mayor said: "Sixty-one Britons died in the disaster. The whole of London was with you in spirit during those terrible early hours. We continue to keep in touch and to support our allies, friends, and families here in New York City.

"When Mayor Giuliani came to visit me in London last year, he spoke of how the people of New York drew strength from the example of Londoners during the Blitz. They, like us, did not give in to the terror at the darkest moments, but found the courage, in the words of Winston Churchill, 'to face the danger head on, without flinching'.

"And we are still standing, still facing that danger, still not flinching. Never flinching. "The United States has experienced a great evil, but as Churchill said, 'the world must roll forwards.'"

"We must be careful, however, to take it forwards in ways that breeds friendship and not dissent, understanding and not division, peace and not fear."

For further information, please contact:

David Thompson on 020 332 1752, mobile 07881 628232

e-mail david.thompson@corpoflondon.gov.uk

out-of-hours e-mail david.thompson28@virgin.net