New York faces challenge of normal life

· Sep 17, 2001 Tweet

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Their grief matched by a resolve to rebuild their lives, New Yorkers put their faith in God and Wall Street Sunday in the struggle to recover from the world’s worst terror attack.

Weary rescue workers swarmed over the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center for a sixth day on Sunday, even though no one has been found alive since Wednesday.

“The hope is still there that we might be able to save lives, but the reality is for the last several days we haven’t found anyone,” Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said.

The number of people reported missing from the World Trade Center was 4,957 with 190 people confirmed dead, Giuliani said.

The NYSE, the world’s largest stock exchange, has been closed along with other New York financial markets since last Tuesday’s hijacked airliner attacks on the World Trade Center — the longest market shutdown since the
Great Depression.

“It’s an important day for the capital markets to open,” said Bob Rendine, senior vice president for communications with the American Stock Exchange, which will conduct some of its business from the NYSE after its own building was declared off-limits because of its proximity to the disaster area.

“It’s a very important statement to make,” Rendine said.

In a symbolically charged ceremony, representatives of New York’s police and fire departments will ring the NYSE’s opening bell at 9:33 a.m. after two minutes of silence to honor the victims and the singing of “God Bless
America”.

“GROUND HERO”

Across New York, mourners struggling to make sense of last week’s carnage packed churches for memorial services and flocked to firehouses to salute “New York’s Bravest.”

“These people are heroes; it’s as simple as that. They keep going back in there when they know there’s not much hope,” said Bernadette James, who stood with other New Yorkers at the edge of the disaster zone to cheer
exhausted fire crews.

More than 300 firefighters and emergency service workers are missing in the rubble of the World Trade Center. They had raced in to save office workers from the raging fires unleashed when the hijacked aircraft sliced into
the 110-story towers.

“What we have come to call Ground Zero … I call Ground Hero,” Cardinal Edward Egan said to applause at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where UN Secretary General Kofi Annan joined 5,000 people packed inside and outside
the Fifth Avenue church to remember the dead.

“We have seen New York at its best; we have seen the best of New York at its best,” the Roman Catholic prelate said.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge, hundreds of firefighters bowed their heads in prayer for missing comrades at a somber ceremony in which 168 members were promoted to fill positions left empty by Tuesday’s disaster.

“The worst part is when you come across bunker gear and you know you’ve got a firefighter. It’s horrendous. They pulled my chief out yesterday,” said firefighter Joseph Tustin, who was promoted to lieutenant.

Patriotism was also on display Sunday, with the Empire State Building, the highest in New York since the destruction of the World Trade Center, lit up in the red, white and blue of the American flag as darkness fell over
Manhattan.

Sunday’s grim search yielded only more corpses and body parts, along with the charred and twisted wreck of a fire truck.

“A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS”

In near-simultaneous attacks last Tuesday, two planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, a third hijacked airliner slammed into the Pentagon outside Washington, and a fourth crashed in open countryside in
rural Pennsylvania.

That plane, United Airlines flight 93, was believed to have been heading for Washington until three or four passengers reportedly overpowered the hijackers.

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service Sunday for one of the four, 31-year-old Jeremy Glick, in the upstate New York ski resort of Windham.

Glick had called his wife Lyzbeth by cellular telephone from the doomed airliner shortly before it crashed and told her: “We’re going to rush the hijackers.”

“In the darkness of last Tuesday, Jeremy Logan Glick was a light,” Rep. John Sweeney, a Republican from New York, told mourners at the open-air service before presenting Glick’s widow with an American flag that had
flown over the Capitol building in Washington.

Giuliani and NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso both declared Wall Street ready for business.

But despite massive efforts to clear the area of the ash, dust and debris from Tuesday’s attack, it was unclear whether the entire financial district, the heart of U.S. capitalism, would be able to reopen.

The effort was also laced with emotion, as traumatized workers faced a return to the scene of last week’s nightmare.

“It’s hard to focus,” said an employee at Salomon Smith Barney who worked from home on Sunday. “It put things in perspective that there are much more important things than your job itself.”

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This article was published Sep 17, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 17, 2001 at 12:00 am

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