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WTC wall may become part of memorial

The remaining facade of the World Trade Center's south tower in New York City is knocked down Tuesday.
The remaining facade of the World Trade Center's south tower in New York City is knocked down Tuesday.  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- One of the largest remaining pieces of the south tower of the World Trade Center to survive the September 11 terrorist attacks was taken down Tuesday and preserved for use in a possible memorial, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told reporters.

The wall has figured prominently in television and newspaper photographs of the devastation.

"We'll preserve as much of that wall as possible, because there are people who have expressed an interest in doing a memorial, which will involve some of that wall," Giuliani told reporters.

Families of some of the thousands still missing say they want a memorial built at the site because they need somewhere to go to mourn.

Developer Larry Silverstein, who signed a $3.2 billion, 99-year lease on the property in July, says he intends to resurrect the twin towers on the site.

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Debris from other disasters have been used around the world in famous memorials.

Granite from Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, destroyed in 1995, was used in a memorial to the 168 victims. Hiroshima, London and Berlin salvaged remnants of buildings to erect memorials to the victims of war.

With the tower wall down, workers should be able to work more freely in the World Trade Center area, Giuliani said. So far, 115,755 tons of debris have been removed from the site, he said.

Although the workers continued searching for survivors Tuesday, there is slim hope of finding anyone alive.

Giuliani called the September 11 evacuation of thousands of people from the twin towers "the largest single rescue in the history of the United States.

"I don't know of any time in which 25,000 people -- at least -- were saved by a heroic and professionally executed evacuation."

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson toured the site Tuesday and helped comfort people in the family center. "The pain abounds," he said.

Jackson said he was impressed with the volunteers he met: "Their sense of willingness to work to bring relief is awesome."

Jackson said the disaster has had some positive impact.

"Suffering breeds character, and character breeds faith, and in the end faith will prevail. This suffering has allowed, in the darkest hour, the light to shine most clearly."

Jackson praised the work of President Bush, whom he said "has done a great job walking a thin line between revenge and remedy."


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