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September 14, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-14

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 14, 2001





GiIimni keeps
city reassured inM
the face ofterror
The Washington Post
NEW YORK=- This, New Yorkers have been saying
almost since the first frightening fireball appeared on their
television screens, has been Rudy Giuliani's finest hour.
The wartime analogy feels apt. The mayor this week has
offered a grittier, Flatbush-flavored version of FDR's fire-
side chats. He's been operations manager and pastor, diver-
sity-training counselor and dauntless cheerleader, a
normally contentious figure suddenly turned symbol of the
city's unity. He's been Winston Churchill in a Yankees cap.
"I want the people of New York to be an example to the
rest of the country and the rest of the world that terrorism
can't stop us," he said on the first day, having scrambled out
of a downtown building where he himself was trapped for
several minutes after the first of the Twin Towers dissolved.
"Everything is safe right now in the city," he assured
them, and he urged residents to go about their normal rou-
He's kept up the exhortations, suggesting by Day 2 that
New Yorkers go shopping and visit restaurants, "do things
that show you're not afraid." They have begun to, tentative-
ly. Giuliani's omnipresence has been a significant factor-a
political cartoon in yesterday's Newsday depicted the 57-
year-old Republican looming gravely over the smoking
hulks of the World Trade Center, a single tear drawn on his
left cheek.
The, mayor's everywhere, all the time, it seems - visiting
Ground Zero numerous times with his new accessories, a
white mask and a hard hat; going to hospitals; phoning
news radio stations; giving multiple press briefings from his
command center in an "undisclosed location." Wednesday
night he gave a briefing in an FDNY cap and an EMS wind-
breaker, a tribute to the city's firefighters, who've taken cat-
astrophically heavy losses, and emergency medical workers.
yesterday morning, having reverted to a political gray suit
and tie, he was on the early news. He's looked tired, has on
occasion grown emotional, but he hasn't allowed more than
a few hours to pass without reminding the city that someone
was at the helm.


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Two firefighters embrace yesterday on the scene of rescue efforts near the site where the 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center
collapsed Tuesday. Rescuers had recovered 184 bodies from the ruins as of yesterday.


relatives keep searching, hoping

bodies may
take wee4
The Washington Post
NEW YORK - The city is begin-
ning the most massive job of unearthing
and identifying bodies ever faced by any
"There's never been an effort like this
in terms of identification and recovery
of the dead in history. It's going to be a
terrible job," said forensic anthropolo-
gist Clyde Snow, who is considered the
world's leading expert on body identifi-
"This is so unprecedented," forensics
expert Lawrence Kobilinsky of John Jay
College in Manhattan, said. "There has
never been anything that comes close to
what we're facing."
The New York City Medical Examin-
er's office has been marshaling forces
from several states and dozens of agen-
cies, preparing to receive, process and
identify up to 20,000 bodies, all victims
of Tuesday's attack on the World Trade
Center, although nobody is sure how
many people are buried in the debris.
One complicating factor, caused by
fears of biological terrorism, is that
forensics examiners will also examine
the bodies for any signs of infection,
said Health and Human Services Secre-
tary Tommy Thompson. And patholo-
gists and investigators will have to take
precautions to protect themselves in
case dangerous organisms are present,
he said in a news conference Wednes-
day night.
In New York, medical specialists
are busy afternoon inputting infor-
mation on missing individuals. That
data was gleaned from seven-page
questionnaires filled out by search-
ing family members, coupled with
such identifying material as pho-
tographs, hair, saliva and blood sam-
ples (extracted from toothbrushes
and combs), and the names of the
missing person's dentists and physi-
cians. The data and samples will be
used to identify bodies and body
parts retrieved from the devastation.
'Discussion of bodies and, worse yet,
parts of bodies may seem disturbing or
tasteless. But for many - especially for
those who adhere to particular religions
- finding their loved one's body can be
spiritually important.
"Christians and Buddhists have no
time stipulations as to the disposal of
bodies," Huston Smith, a professor
of religion at Syracuse University,
explained. "But Jews - within 24
hours the funeral process must be
completed. Muslims must be bathed
and the traditional orthodoxy is to be
buried within 24 hours. For Hindus,
cremation must be almost immedi-
For some Christians, open casket
viewings are favored. And among some
Buddhists, it is believed that cremation
of an incomplete body ensures that the
reincarnated soul will inhabit a body
that is missing limbs or parts, Snow
"The first priority is taking care of the
families - the living. Just about any
family in New York has probably got
somebody, some distant or close rela-
tive, in there," Snow said. "And they
need to understand what the process
It is a process that could take weeks,

or even months, said Snow, who was
head of forensic anthropology for the
recovery effort after the 1995 Oklahoma
City bombing.
"In Oklahoma City we had 168
deaths," Snow, recalled. "That
occurred on April 19. We had 10
pathologists, 20 dentists, the FBI
fingerprint people, Oklahoma state
and city fingerprint people. And that
was with 168 victims."

The Washington Post
By Day 3, most people had run out of places to
Still, they gathered by the thousands at a Man-
hattan armory, sweat glistening from their brows as
the sun baked down, hoping for news of loved
Many faces were stained from tears, the fatigue
of sleepless nights showing through. Others had
taped color photos of relatives to their shirts.
"Call Mom!!" read one.
"Have you seen Myra Maldonado" read another.
"She is the mother of two boys and is being missed
terribly by her children, siblings and nephews."
The number tells it all: 4,763 people were miss-
ing, most, if not all of them, likely crushed beneath
the tons of debris of the World Trade Center. But
still, the people looking for them had to hope. To
do otherwise would be giving up.
Joe Boggio's search started immediately - as
soon as he saw the fire from his offices a few
blocks away he rtced to call his girlfriend, Jody
Tepedino. Not a half hour before, he'd walked her
to the elevators at the north tower and kissed her
goodbye, just like every morning.
As he dialed he watched the fire and smoke
spread. The phone kept ringing, but there was no
answer - and no word since.
He'd sorted through rumors and Internet post-
ings. He and Jody's brother, Vincent Tepedino, vis-
ited every hospital Wednesday on the East Side of
Manhattan - clutching pictures of Jody. The black
and white photos showed a 39-year-old woman
with curly hair and a mouth stretched into a broad
smile. In hospital after hospital - so numerous
they blurred in their memories - they scanned
patient lists and left fliers.
As they walked long city blocks to West
Side hospitals, they got the call they had been
praying for. Her name, another of Jody's broth-
ers said, was on a list of people hospitalized
from Cantor Fitzgerald, an investment firm
where she worked as an executive assistant for
the last year.
For 15 minutes: joy.
Then came the follow-up call that filled them
with dread. It was a mistake. It wasn't true.
On foot to yet another hospital, Boggio and
Tepedino heard that Jody's company had opened a
command center at the Pierre Hotel to help dis-

"So many people are
never going to be found.
There isn't anything left
to identify."
- David Mortman
Father of missing Trade Center worker
traught families. Cantor Fitzgerald, with about
1,000 employees working in the tower, could find
very few of them. But no one there knew anything
about Jody.
Yesterday, they took the train from Brooklyn
again, this time to the armory - a large brick
building with the names of America's bloodiest
battles carved into the facade - to fill out the
missing person's forms. What was the person's
height, weight, hospital of'birth? Did the person
have any distinguishing marks?
One woman, speaking into a cell phone to her
friend's family, sought more precise information.
Was the birthmark on the back of her right thigh
more of a flesh color or was it pink?
Nearby, David Mortman, 50, shook his head
despairingly. He was searching for the son of
friends stranded in Florida. The son, Nicholas
Lassman, a 28-year-old Cantor Fitzgerald employ-
ee, worked on the 99th floor.
"This form," said Mortman, grasping the six.
pages of information he was struggling to fill out.
"This is the normal form - so many people are
never going to be found. There isn't anything left to
For others searching fruitlessly, the days after the
tragedy yielded shreds of information.
Harry Ramos' family tried to reach every
co-worker of the 45-year-old trader with the
May Davis Group - going down a list of
names the Baltimore-based investing firm gave
They knew where he was when the plane struck
his building - at his desk on the phone with his
wife. He told her something was wrong and that he
was going to gather up his group and evacuate.
His wife waited Tuesday at home - watching
the news for any word, jumping each time the tele-
phone rang.

Flowers and post cards of the World Trade Center towers decorate a lamp post on Houston Street near
a fire house yesterday in New York. Makeshift memorials are appearing throughout the city as people
mourn victims of Tuesday's terrorist attack.

Pollution worries experts as
smoke lingers over the city


The Washington Post
A hazardous brew of dust, soot, asbestos and toxic combus-
tion gases will pose a continuing threat to rescue workers long
after the flames are extinguished, environmental health experts
Though some lucky weather patterns have helped reduce
the risk that the airborne contamination poses to the general
population, the environmental risks will be much higher for

tion on this scale with so much dust and airborne contami-
nants." He said people who are still having trouble breathing
eight to 12 hours after leaving the blast site should consult a
Those who find themselves repeatedly spitting up phlegm
are expelling dust and other particles from their lungs, a sign
of a well-functioning respiratory system cleansing itself. But
the greater threat is posed by smaller particles that penetrate
past the upper bronchia of the lungs and lodge deeply in the

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