Queen Places Wreath at World Trade Center Site - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Queen Places Wreath at World Trade Center Site

NEW YORK — Queen Elizabeth II placed a wreath of flowers at a site of the Sept. 11 attacks Tuesday and chatted with victims' families and first responders, minutes after using her first visit to New York in more than three decades to praise the U.N. for promoting peace and justice.

The 84-year-old British monarch braved 100-degree heat in a 15-minute visit to the World Trade Center site after challenging the United Nations to spearhead an international response to global dangers.

Near the footprint of the trade center's south tower, she placed a wreath of New York-grown red peonies, roses, lilies and black-eyed Susans on a wooden riser at the site.

Wearing a straw hat, pastel long-sleeved dress and dark patent leather shoes, she smiled and nodded at a phalanx of dignitaries, relatives of Sept. 11 victims and first responders gathered to meet her.

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 on Sept. 11. "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.'"

Palmer said of the monarch, "She's beautiful. She looks like she could be anybody's grandmother."

"And she looks like royalty, because we're all sweating and she was quite the lady — no sweat whatsoever! Her lipstick was just so."

The queen left the site in a motorcade to visit the British Garden of Remembrance, built to honor the 67 Britons killed in the 2001 attack.

Earlier Tuesday, she challenged the UN to promote prosperity and dignity for the world's inhabitants.

"In my lifetime, the United Nations has moved from being a high-minded aspiration to being a real force for common good," Elizabeth told diplomats from the 192 U.N. member states. "That of itself has been a signal achievement. But we are not here to reminisce. In tomorrow's world, we must all work together as hard as ever if we are truly to be United Nations."

Speaking as queen of 16 U.N. member states and head of a commonwealth of 54 countries with a population of nearly 2 billion people, Elizabeth recalled the dramatic changes in the world since she last visited the United Nations in 1957, especially in science, technology and social attitudes.

But she also praised the U.N.'s aims and values, which have endured — promoting peace, security and justice; fighting hunger, poverty and disease; and protecting the rights and liberties of every citizen.

"For over six decades the United Nations has helped to shape the international response to global dangers," the queen said. "The challenge now is to continue to show this clear ... leadership while not losing sight of your ongoing work to secure the security, prosperity and dignity of our fellow human beings."

Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, flew to New York from Canada for the five-hour visit and planned to leave later Thursday.

 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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