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Giuliani, Pataki Hold Press Conference

Aired September 15, 2001 - 18:41   ET


JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: In New York City at this hour, Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking about the rescue effort. Let's listen.


MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: ... Judge, and unfortunately it probably is an indication of what we're going to have to face in the future. But to each of their families we give our support, our love and condolences; and look upon this as three people who have lost their lives as casualties of war. They're heroes. They're like the heroes that we had at Pearl Harbor.

Each one of them was trying to save lives. Pete Ganci evacuated his men, sent them north out of danger. He turned around, walked back south into danger in order to get more men out and was killed. Bill Feehan was directing the operation, and wouldn't leave. And Father Judge was administering the Last Rites to someone at the time that he died. Those are wartime casualties by anybody's description. And they are three heroes and there are many, many others.

We're very happy that we've been able to get the command center up this quickly, because I think it -- first of all it has a tremendous amount of practical value; it allows us to coordinate things -- the city, the state, the federal government -- much more effectively. And is has a lot of symbolic value also. The command center was destroyed by these cowards that attacked us. The command center was destroyed on Tuesday. We've been operating out of the police academy up until now. And we put together, quickly, a command center.

But the command center has been rebuilt by Saturday and open and functioning. It's even bigger than the command center we had before; has more facilities. And I congratulate everybody who put this together. The -- all the people that worked on it from the Office of Emergency Management, from OEM and from the Economic Development Corporation that controlled this site, that had to work on it in die cast, and all the people that have gotten this done. This is a miracle to have gotten this done as quickly as they did, and it's a great example of the fact that we can come back real quick, and even better and stronger than we were before.

We're very hopeful that we're going to continue to clean up the are and get things as back to normal as possible by Monday. The subway tests that we did today all seemed to work, so there's no reason why they won't work tomorrow and the next day and we can get more things open.

The stock exchange will be open; the mercantile exchange will be open. We're going to have additional ferry service on 58th Street and 1st Avenue in Brooklyn to the Whitehall Ferry Terminal so they'll be a ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan. There hasn't been a ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan for a long, long time. You know, some point after the Brooklyn Bridge was built, I think, they did away with the ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan. But now there will be a ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan and it'll bring a lot of people to Wall Street. It'll start at 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning, go to 9:00 a.m. and then operate between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at night. So it'll be another means of transportation.

The medical examiner is here and we're going to ask Dr. Hersch (ph) to explain the DNA announcement that we're making in order to alert people to what they have to bring -- they have to bring with them and to explain some of the process that we'll be going through in the next couple of weeks, if not months.

The economic development efforts seem to be working really well. It's a joint state and city effort. We're contacting lots of businesses and so far the responses have been very positive with regard to people wanting to stay; wanting to find new sites; wanting to continue to invest in the city; and with the number of people in the city of New York, it appears as if -- it appears that the city may be even more popular now than it used to be in the past as a place to come.

So, the amount -- the support and the willingness of people to invest in the city and people that come to the city of New York may have actually increased as a result of this. Maybe that's a way of showing support for the city of New York now that it has been attacked in the way that it has, but we're very grateful for that. And we're also very grateful for the president's visit.

I think that's done an awful lot to demonstrate that kind of support. We've taken out 22,008 tons of debris so far -- 2,047 truckloads and there have been 85 -- 84, at least this count about 3:00 this afternoon, 84 bodies that have been recovered.


GIULIANI: I'm sorry, 84 bodies that have been identified. Sixty more that have been recovered and the total dead on arrival right now is 159 according to the police department's count. And of those 24 are firefighters, two civilian EMTs, two port authority police officers, one New Jersey firefighter and my heart goes out to all of them because each one of those cases we're going to have situations like we had today.

And tomorrow the fire commissioner is going to -- is going to announce promotions, so we'll have him describe that in a few minutes -- governor.

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI, NEW YORK: Mayor thank you, this is a sad day and there will be other sad days as well. The prayers of all New Yorkers and I believe all Americans are with the families who went through the difficult process of saying final good-byes to their -- the true heroes who have done so much to lead and inspire the fire department over the course of the past decades.

I wanted to comment as well on President Bush's visit to New York yesterday. It was exactly what I believe New York needed. That visit was uplifting and raised the morale of the hundreds and thousands of heroes who are down there working on the site right now. It raised the spirits, I believe, of all New Yorkers and as we go through the suffering, one of the things the president did along with the mayor yesterday was to spend not a half hour, as he was scheduled to, but closer to three hours, with the families of some of those whose loved ones are -- have passed on or are missing.

And he shared tears with them and hugs with them and prayers with them, and I think that was enormously helpful to those families as they go through this tremendous grief and the mayor and I were honored to have been with the president while he showed this type of human side to his leadership during this very real crisis.

The state deployment, we're continuing to do everything we can to back up the tremendous effort that the city is making. We now have 4,500 National Guard troops activated here in the city. We're rotating on an ongoing basis 500 state police, and we have 22 different state agencies working here to help with the relief effort and recovery process, which brings me to the question of volunteers.

And I was at the Javits Center earlier today, and we are just enormously grateful and proud to the literally tens of thousands of people from across America who have come here to help out.

I met people from south Texas. I met a person from Montenegro who had come here in an effort to help out. It's just incredible the outpouring of support, and but, what we're telling people is that control of the site is essential, that having people volunteer and go down to the site right now is not necessary. While we're very grateful for their willingness to help and their commitment to be a part of the relief effort, there are other better ways people can do it.

And they should look to help, and some of the ways to do it are back home where they're from to join their ambulance corps. We've been deploying those throughout the time. Join their fire department. Help the Salvation Army and Red Cross. Go through their relief efforts. Donate blood.

These are all things that people out there who want to help can do. Right in their home communities, they could be of enormous help as we go forward, and I wouldn't mind suggesting as well, that people who are that committed and interested could sign up and join the National Guard, because it's not just in times of war and military action that the National Guard is so helpful.

It's ice storms and blizzards and fires and of course, tragic attacks like this. So there's so much people can do without having to come to the site and that's what we would encourage them to do as we go forward. I also want to, again, people have been donating in our World Trade Center Relief Fund, along with the city's Twin Towers Fund and the United Way's September 11 fund have been just incredibly gratified by the outpouring of support and the donations can be made to the World Trade Center Relief Fund through a Web site, and that will coordinate - we will coordinate with the Twin Towers Fund and the other relief funds as well.

Finally, the Business Assistance Program was enormously successful. Yesterday we had close to 300 entities from individual proprietorships, the large corporations coming in looking for help, and we will continue to offer that joint assistance city, state, federal to businesses looking for that type of assistance and the number in addition to the city's operation down on Pine Street with our joint operation on Third Avenue is that businesses looking for this help can call is 1-800-ILOVENY and we would encourage people to feel comfortable calling that number, and we'll do everything we can to help.

So, again mayor, thank you for your leadership. We thank the president for the incredible support that he and the federal government have shown, and we're going to get through this.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow we're going to promote about 160 firefighters, lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs, deputy chiefs, and assistant chiefs to assist us in this rescue effort and in the training that's necessary for so many new people that will be in our squad units -- our rescue units and in addition to those people that we need to run those units, we need to continue training in hazardous materials and everything else just to be prepared for anything that might happen in the -- in the city.

So, the fire department has been severely wounded. We've lost, at least missing many of our top leaders, on top commanders and we have to prepare even, hopefully, if we find some, certainly can be very, very seriously injured and we have to go on and we'll begin that tomorrow morning.



QUESTION: Where will that (OFF-MIKE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll do it outside of fire department headquarters tomorrow morning at noon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Chief Nigro is going to assume chief of department and Chief Cassano is going to be chief of operations.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nigro -- N-I-G-R-O. I'm sorry.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the mayor said, getting the emergency operation center back in almost less than 48 hours was a -- did a terrific effort by a lot of people. I want to thank Henry Jackson (ph) from my staff who served as my project manager. I want to thank Verizon who really did a yeoman's job getting us telephone service, and all the agencies -- all the agencies that are -- that are in here that helped get us back up so we can work effectively, keep information flowing, and keep everyone informed.


GIULIANI: I have to do one thing, though, in exchange for Richie (ph) working for 48 hours, getting this -- getting this done. Paul Shear (ph) is 13 years old today, so his dad owes him a birthday present, which may be interesting since his Little League nickname is Hollywood, and he thinks he's 30, not 13. So I'm going to wish Paul a happy birthday, and if you wish -- you were to wish him a happy birthday...

CHEN: All right. To our viewers who've been watching this, you have been watching a bit of an update coming to us from the city leaders and state leaders of New York.



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