Ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks have been moved from the National Cathedral to the Kennedy Center because of a crane mishap, the White House said on Thursday.
Events had been scheduled for Friday and for Sunday, the day of the anniversary.
“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,” cathedral Dean Samuel Lloyd III said in a statement.
“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."
The crane had been used to fix damage done in last month's quake, which crumbled pinnacles atop the cathedral's stone tower and toppled angels, gargoyles, and other carvings. It tipped over on Wednesday, injuring the operator and damaging nearby structures on the cathedral grounds.
Among the events scheduled for Friday night were “A Concert to Honor” featuring Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the Marine Chamber Orchestra, and United States Navy Band Sea Chanters. On Sunday, President Obama will headline “A Concert for Hope,” also featuring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, country star Alan Jackson, and R&B singer Patti LaBelle.
An interfaith vigil will be held outside on the cathedral grounds unless weather forces it to the Washington Hebrew Congregation in nearby Cleveland Park.