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Public viewing platform opens at Ground Zero



NEW YORK (CNN) -- Thousands of people lined lower Manhattan's streets Sunday, waiting to get a closer perspective on the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks that brought down New York's World Trade Center towers.

The first of four public viewing platforms opened Sunday morning at Church and Fulton streets.

For three months, people who have traveled to Ground Zero to see the wreckage have been kept blocks away by fences, gates, national guard and police patrols.

With people waiting in lines covering at least four city blocks, the mood was subdued as the well-behaved crowd followed the cues given by police.

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New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced the opening of the new viewing areas in a ceremony Saturday. He said the platforms are being built to give the public a safe and secure location to view the devastation without impeding recovery efforts and while preserving the sanctity of the site.

"This is hallowed ground, sacred ground," Giuliani said Saturday. "We decided to put up these platforms because there's been so much of an interest in seeing this site."

The outgoing mayor, whom Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg will succeed Tuesday, added, "Standing here conveys a lot of America -- a lot of America's past, a lot of America's present and also a lot of America's future, which is supported by the heroism and bravery of the men and women who gave their lives here."

The design and construction of the platforms were funded privately through a foundation set up by four architects -- David Rockwell, Kevin Kennon, Rick Scofido and Liz Diller. No completion date is set for the other three platforms.



 
 
 
 



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