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New Yorkers Pause for Reflection and Prayer - 2001-09-17


New Yorkers flocked to churches Sunday as the city literally and symbolically seeks to dig out from under the rubble of last Tuesday's terror attack that destroyed the World Trade Center.

An overflow crowd descended on St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral in Manhattan to attend a memorial service for the victims of the World Trade Center attack.

New York's catholic archbishop, Edward Cardinal Egan, offered a prayer of hope.

"I'm sure that for many families who have lost loved ones, for many who have been injured in our hospitals, for all of the wonderful police officers, the firefighters, the emergency workers, the health care professionals, the civic officials, for all of them," he said. "It is a consolation to know that you have come together, and that together we are going to bring the heaviness of our hearts and the hope of our hearts before our God."

Meanwhile, the rescue and recovery effort goes on with city officials now listing more than 5,000 people as missing in the wake of the collapse of the World Trade Center. The site has become known as ground zero and U.S. Marine Major Dave Andersen still has trouble comprehending what happened there. "I'll tell you, you just simply, and I am sure you have heard this every hour, you can't describe it. And the TV pictures can't even describe it. It is just utter, utter devastation. It's ungodly."

Among those trapped when the twin towers collapsed were scores of police officers and fire fighters.

New York's Fire Department held a hastily arranged promotion ceremony Sunday to replace many high-ranking firefighters presumed lost when the World Trade Center collapsed.

New York Fire Commissioner Thomas Van Essen choked back tears as he addressed the newly promoted. "We are shaken, but we are not defeated. The history and tradition of fire fighting requires that we stare adversity in the eye and we push on. That is exactly what we have done in the past and that is exactly what you will do tomorrow."

The next step in the city's recovery comes Monday when New York's financial markets are set to reopen. A two-minute moment of silence will be observed before the markets resume and New York City firefighters and police officers will be among those helping to ring the opening bell.

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