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New Yorkers Continue Sifting Through Rubble Sunday - 2001-09-16


For rescue workers in New York, it is another day of digging through rubble at the site of what was the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. City officials Sunday said they have recovered 180 bodies from the rubble, and that more than 5,000 people are now listed as missing.

Rescue workers are being driven by the hope that someone may still be alive in the smoking pile of rubble. At one point late Saturday, there were reports that rescuers heard a tapping noise from within the heap of twisted steel and concrete, but New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said those reports proved to be false.

No one has been found alive at the site for several days. Still, Mayor Giuliani says rescue workers are determined to keep at it. "In any event, we are going to continue to search for people and look for people at the same time realizing that the losses here are staggering," the mayor said.

"These men have been doing it around the clock," said one New York firefighter who has spent long hours at the devastation site. He said he and his crew plan to stay at it for a long time. "It's not money, it's manpower now. And we will do it, until we get it done. We are going to hang in [keep working]."

The rest of the city, meanwhile, continues to try and return to normal. Churches were crowded Sunday, and many New Yorkers who work in the city's financial district, near what was the World Trade Center, are preparing to return to work Monday for the first time since last Tuesday's terror attack.

City and state officials are also starting to talk about the prospects for rebuilding something on the site of the World Trade Center. "I think that those who were lost would not want us to see that space lay vacant," New York Senator Charles Schumer said during a CBS television interview "And, so, there will be a lot of discussion, and, I think, that New Yorkers, who are known for having many opinions, will come together on what will be the best thing to do. But my judgment would be that, we must build something grand there."

Mayor Giuliani said he believes the events of last Tuesday have unified the city as never before. He urged New Yorkers to resume their normal routines, as much as possible. "One of the best things they can do to show how strong we are, and how terrorists can't cower [intimidate] us, is not to be cowered," the mayor said. "Go ahead, and go about the everyday activities. Go to church, if you go to a church, on Sunday. If you go to a park and play with your children, do that."

The mayor also says plans are underway for a massive memorial service next Sunday to honor the victims of the World Trade Center disaster.

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