The Calling Of The Names Ceremony honors deceased Responders: the Rescue and Recovery Workers and Volunteers who came to help in the days, weeks and months following the September 11th, 2001, attacks.  By calling their names we invoke their memory and call out our gratitude for their service at a time when it was desperately needed. 

Considered the most dangerous construction site ever in this country, for nine months, Responders came at their own peril.  They put themselves in harms’ way in order to find survivors, and then to find as many remains as possible for the families of those lost and missing. Their determination and dedication indeed made it possible for many families to put their loved ones to rest. 

By doing this work, many have become ill; too many have died. Others have passed due to natural causes. Regardless of what caused their death, each person who helped is remembered in the ceremony. Furthermore, this remembrance is a way to show respect and appreciation for the families of these deceased Responders.  Because of the support of their loved ones, these workers were able to spend endless numbers of hours helping at the site. It was tough and dangerous work; families’ love and encouragement sustained the Responders throughout.

The plan is to hold this ceremony the afternoon of the anniversary of the attacks every year through the 20th Anniversary.



How the Ceremony Began

As the 15th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks approached, three volunteers from the 2001-2002 St. Paul’s Chapel World Trade Center Relief Ministry, Chester Johnson, Ralph Farris and Barbara Horn, created the first Calling Of The Names Ceremony.  Their intention: to honor and remember all 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers and Volunteers who are no longer with us, no matter what the reason for their passing.  They felt it meaningful to do so on the anniversary itself, and in close quarters to the WTC complex.  

How the Name Was Chosen

Several years ago, Co-founder Barbara Horn was corresponding with Mr. and Mrs. Sumiyama, a Tokyo, Japan, family who lost their son Yoichi in the South Tower.  In their response to the invitation to read their son’s name at the upcoming NYC ceremony for victims, the Sumiyama’s used an active word in their translation.  The phrase “to read names” communicated a passive, quiet activity, which is not what the Sumiyama’s were being asked to do. Consequently, their translator responded by saying that they would very much like to “call the name” of their son, something dynamic, spoken out loud, in public, with others.  

When the idea of a ceremony to honor Responders was raised, the Sumiyama’s wish to “call the names” of their son and other victims came to mind immediately; the Calling Of The Names Ceremony was born.



Where the Ceremony is Held

In September 2001, St. Paul's Chapel's World Trade Center Relief Ministry began its "radical hospitality."  Over the next nine months the Chapel, which opened in 1766, offered round the clock respite to WTC site workers.  This full-service House of Worship provided food, clothing and shelter, spiritual, physical and psychological support; many of those whose names will be called came to St. Paul’s during this time for rest, solace and strength.

The Chapel is where George Washington and members of Congress prayed right after Washington’s inauguration. This historic site cared for those who founded our country and for those who came to its aid after the worst attack on American soil. 



The 2016 Ceremony provided comfort and strength to the surviving September 11th Community and all who came to remember.  The power in this time together encourages us to continue this annual Calling Of The Names.  All who helped and are no longer with us will be honored this way at least through the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. 



Please let us know the name(s) of any deceased 9/11 Responder(s). 

We want to call as many names as possible of those who came to help. Name(s) can be submitted by clicking on the link below.  The website has the list of current names to be called; new names are continually being added.

Submit a name >
See current list of names >