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LA Sends Help For NY Rescue Effort - 2001-09-12

The thoughts of Americans are with the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Along with their best wishes, Los Angeles residents are sending help for the rescue effort.

Los Angeles International Airport remains closed to commercial traffic, but early Wednesday morning, a plane with blood and medical supplies was permitted to take off for New York City.

At about the same time, a search and rescue team from Riverside, California, was arriving in New York. The team is trained in retrieving victims of earthquakes and other urban disasters, and a local Indian tribe donated $25,000 to fly the rescue workers to the East Coast.

According to Riverside county fire chief Tom Tisdale says a difficult time awaits them. "The psychological portion of it is going to be really tough," he said. It's tough every time they've gone out. There's not training available to completely prepare for some of the sights that they're going to see, and some of the action they're going to find up there."

Wednesday morning, two Los Angeles police officers placed a single white rose in front of police headquarters to honor their New York colleagues who died in the course of their duties. Hundreds of safety workers are missing in New York City. They were trapped in the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center.

Sergeant John Pasquierello, a spokesman for the Los Angeles police department, said, "It is a real sad day for the fire service and law enforcement community. And we're all wearing our black mourning bands because we lost a lot of brothers and sisters back there. It really hits home. When I saw those buildings collapse, I knew there were cops and firemen in there. And my heart just goes out to the families, and it's just a horrible, horrible tragedy."

A woman in downtown Los Angeles choked back tears as she spoke about the attacks. Then she turned her thoughts to the future. "We have to carry on," she said. "That's what we Americans do. We're going to make the best of it. We'll be stronger. We'll pull together, and we'll go on."

Most Los Angeles offices were open for business Wednesday, as were major tourist attractions such as Disneyland. Local and state government offices also opened their doors under heightened security. Most federal offices in the city remain closed.

Commercial flights are still grounded, but the port of Los Angeles has reopened to shipping traffic after being closed on Tuesday.