Mayor strikes grim note as New York struggles back
NEW YORK (AP) – With hopes fading on Sunday that any more survivors would be found amid the dust, steam and gore that is now the World Trade Center, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged New Yorkers not to cower before terrorism.
”The life of the city goes on,” said Giuliani. He said 180 people had been confirmed dead, 115 of whom had been identified. Eighteen city firefighters were among the confirmed dead, including two top officials. The total number of missing was raised by more than 100 on Sunday, to 5,097.
”The recovery effort continues and the hope is still there that we might be able to save some lives. But the reality is that in the last several days we haven’t found anyone,” Giuliani said.
A high ranking police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said workers weren’t even finding bodies, only body parts. No one has been pulled alive from the wreckage since Wednesday, the day after two hijacked jetliners were crashed into the trade center’s twin towers.
”We can’t even find concrete; it’s dust. What we’re calling bodies aren’t really bodies,” the official said.
Much of downtown Manhattan was to reopen Monday with the help of a new service, a ferry carrying passengers between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Empire State Building, which has been dark since the attacks, was lit Sunday night in red, white and blue.
Speaking at a morning news conference, Giuliani said one way to deal with the trauma is to ”show how strong we are and how terrorists can’t cower us.”
”Go ahead and go about the everyday activities,” he urged. ”Go to church on Sunday. If you go to a park and play with your children, do that. If you like to go out and spend money I would encourage that. It’s always a good thing.”
Hundreds celebrated Mass at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Cardinal Edward Egan urged parishioners to commune with God to ease their grief.
Giuliani also encouraged people from around the country to ”come here and spend money.” He noted theatergoers might even attain what once seemed impossible: seats for the city’s most popular Broadway show.
”You might actually have a better chance of getting tickets to ‘The Producers’ now, if you want to come here and see it,” he said.
Barbara Anschuetz, a trauma therapist from Toronto in town to work with victims and survivors of the attacks, offered similar advice – and meant to follow it herself. Standing in Times Square with a team of colleagues, she was looking to purchase tickets for a comedy.
”We thought coming to a show in the evening, some time next week, when we’ve had pretty intense days, would help provide a sense of normalcy and relief for us,” Anschuetz said.
Later Sunday, Giuliani offered a personal story about perseverance. Addressing a ceremony in which 168 firefighters were promoted, the mayor said he had an uncle whose legs were broken when he was thrown from a ladder truck – answering a false alarm.
”One of my earliest memories is his talking about wanting to go back to work. It was the thing that got him through, the thing that sustained him,” he said.
The Fire Department, in the worst tragedy it has experienced since its first engine companies were formed in 1865, lost about 300 members in the trade center carnage.
Through black and white swirls of smoke, rusty-looking remains of the center’s once-shining exterior stood at precarious angles. But the rescue work – dusty, sweaty and likely in vain – continued.
Among the grisly finds have been a pair of hands, bound together, found on a rooftop. Another was the torso of a Port Authority police officer, identified by the radio still hanging from his belt.
James Monsini, a volunteer and demolition expert from Brockton, Mass., said he and some fellow workers were concentrating on subbasement level garages and shops. He said they were hoping for air pockets that would allow victims – perhaps trapped in their cars – to breathe.
”I saw a car with an interior light on, and I got really hopeful that it was a sign (of life),” he said. ”But the person was dead.”
Another volunteer, steamfitter James Drew, said there was so much glass, hot metal and other debris on the ground that firefighters had to carry bootee-wearing search dogs where they were needed.
Drew also described a search technique he called ”shave and a haircut”: rescuers tap in rhythm on steel or concrete, hoping for taps in response.
No one has been answering.
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