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Grief strikes deep all over world

Tribute is paid from Albania to Turkey, beyond

SHARE Grief strikes deep all over world

BERLIN — Black ribbons fluttered from Hungarian fire trucks, city buses across Scandinavia stood still, and thousands of Germans paused in silence Thursday as the world mourned those killed in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Across Europe, nations from Albania to Russia honored the victims of Tuesday's attacks. Flags flew at half-staff and thousands of employees halted their work to remember the thousands presumed or already known to be dead.

Germany held a nationwide five minutes of silence, and hundreds gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, amid a sea of flowers spread along the street leading to the building.

"I am here to show that the German people feel for the American people," said 37-year-old Berndt Mattigk. "I am sad and horrified that the American people have suffered an act of war on their soil."

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who joined officials in observing the silence outside of the chancellory in Berlin, has offered "full solidarity" with the United States and pledged that Germany would join in any allied response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Across Russia, national flags were lowered to half-staff, under a decree from President Vladimir Putin. Television and radio stations halted their broadcasts and the Cabinet interrupted its weekly meeting for a minute of silence.

Finnish radio stations stopped broadcasting at noon and more than 400 trams and buses in Helsinki stopped for one minute of silence.

Copenhagen city buses also stopped for one minute at noon as part of a nationwide display of "compassion for the victims, their families and the American people," said Mads Lebech, chairman of the city bus company.

All flags in Turkey and in the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state were lowered to half-staff Thursday and in Austria, church bells rang for three minutes then fell quiet as people joined in three minutes of silence.

French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin were to join other officials at an ecumenical service at the American Church on Thursday evening.

Poland's leaders were also to attend memorial services to be held in churches in the nation's capital and fire trucks sounded their sirens across the nation in the afternoon.

Firefighters in Hungary tied black ribbons to their radio aerials in memory of New York firefighters who died in the aftermath of the attacks.

At a construction site in Froesunda outside the Swedish capital of Stockholm, several hundred workers removed their helmets to observe a nationwide minute of silence.

"It was the worst thing I have seen in my 50 years, and I will probably not experience anything like it again." said construction worker Kent Sjoelund. "We cannot do very much but feel sympathy with our comrades on the other side of the Atlantic."

The terror attacks prompted unusual unity and an outpouring of sympathy from China.

Putting aside months of angry words over Taiwan and a spy plane collision, Chinese President Jiang Zemin offered help with rescue efforts, telling President Bush that Beijing wants to work with Washington and other governments to fight terrorism.

In Japan, professional baseball players and 14,000 fans observed a moment of silence before their game at Osaka Dome.

South Korea declared Friday as a national mourning day for victims, the first time it has made such a gesture for another country.

"The United States and its people are in great pain ... and the United States is our closest ally which has helped make our country what it is today," said Park Joon-young, a government spokesman.

Croatia and Albania declared Friday a day of national mourning. The Albanian government ordered flags at state institutions lowered to half-staff, and all cultural and sports activities have been canceled.

Romania's Orthodox Church said it would hold memorial prayers in all churches and monasteries Friday.

Also on Friday, the 43 nations of the Council of Europe have asked all of their 800 million citizens to pay three minutes silent tribute to the victims at 6:00 a.m. EDT.