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Flags rise, football returns across U.S.

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President and Mrs. Bush look on as the American flag is raised to full staff at Camp David Sunday.  


NEW YORK (CNN) -- As Mayor Rudy Giuliani exhorted New Yorkers to return to their routines, flags returned to full staff across the United States Sunday and pro football resumed for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

On Sunday morning, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush participated in a brief ceremony at Camp David as the American flag there was raised to full staff. They were accompanied by an honor guard of Marines and Navy sailors.

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Bush ordered that United States flags be flown at half staff following the September 11 terrorist attacks normal. The order expired at sundown Saturday.

In New York, Giuliani again urged residents Sunday to resume their usual lives.

"If we feel afraid, the way to deal with our fear is to do the things we normally do anyway," he told CNN prior to an interfaith prayer service Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. "People should be going to plays and they should be going to movies and going to school and going to work and doing the things they normally do."

The rescue effort continued at the World Trade Center site Sunday, but Giuliani held out "very little hope" that survivors could be found.

As of Saturday, 90,937 tons of debris had been cleared in 6,255 truckloads, Giuliani said previously. The number of dead was at 261, and the estimate for the number of missing persons remained 6,333.

Giuliani downplayed reports of looting in the attacks' aftermath.

"Any theft that goes on down there is a sacrilege, as far as I'm concerned, and outrageous. But the reality is there hasn't been much," he said.

NFL kicks off

In one sign of life returning to normal, the National Football League played its first games in 13 days, kicking them off with patriotic ceremony.

Giant flags were unfurled at several stadiums, as rock singer Jon Bon Jovi's rendition of "America the Beautiful," sung from outside a Manhattan fire station, was beamed into homes and onto giant arena screens nationwide.

As fans entering stadiums faced tighter security, others watching from home enjoyed a rare gift from the NFL. It lifted local blackouts for games that weren't sellouts, or didn't sell out early enough.

"We lifted the blackouts on a one-time basis because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this weekend's games," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, a comeback announcement originally expected during the week of the attacks could happen Monday.

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan is expected to announce his return to the NBA in a statement Monday, a source in the NBA told CNN/Sports Illustrated Saturday.

And on the political front, a spokesman for former Republican presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole signaled her comeback, saying she has filed to seek election to the U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina.





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