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America's New War:

Aired September 20, 2001 - 06:23   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the United States another war drags on today in the trenches of ground zero. And while hopes dim for finding survivors in the ruins of the World Trade Center, plans are in the works now for a mass memorial Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the big baseball stadium there. So for the latest, we go to CNN's Brian Palmer who's in New York.

And, Brian, I understand you have a special guest with you this morning.

BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do, Carol. You've joined us in front of the 24-hour World Trade Center rescue operation. We have the privilege to be joined by firefighter paramedic Sean Conway who just got off the pile. He's a Los Angeles City firefighter.

What have you seen? What have you done today?

SEAN CONWAY, LOS ANGELES CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT: What we see when we walk out there, as people continue to try to ask me to describe what I see, is a disaster and a very sad sight, actually. It -- it's -- again, as people continue to ask me to describe what I'm seeing, I -- my answer seems to be the same every time which is I really can't describe it. I think it's going to take a long time before I actually am able to put it into words because a description at this time would -- just wouldn't do it any justice. Pictures don't to it any justice, descriptions don't do it any justice, you just have to be out there and take a look at it for yourself.

PALMER: Now you're a -- you're quite a different man from the one I talked to about seven hours ago, the composed person. What did you see that has brought this out?

CONWAY: Well what I see are hundreds of my brother firefighters out there trying to find their brothers, and it's a gut-wrenching situation in that -- in trying to turn every square inch of dirt in order to try to accomplish that task.

PALMER: Next question, you're doing this on your vacation time.

CONWAY: Right.

PALMER: Talk to me about that. CONWAY: OK. Well, a contingent of 25 Los Angeles City firefighters got together and we decided to come out here and loan -- give, that is, our heart and our souls to the -- one of the greatest fire departments if not in our nation and the world and that is the New York City Fire Department. We have always admired them from where we are, respected them, and we felt that this was an opportunity to show them exactly how we felt. I -- I'm sorry, it's really difficult for me to describe it. I really (INAUDIBLE).

PALMER: I'm going to let you go.

CONWAY: It's OK.

PALMER: Sean Conway, firefighter from Los Angeles City joins us after 10 hours on the pile -- Carol.

LIN: Brian, that interview...

PALMER: I'm sorry, that wasn't very good.

LIN: No, he was great. Brian, you tell him he was really terrific and our hearts and our prayers go out to him and to all the firefighters who are responding out there. Brian, that was an absolutely heartbreaking interview, and this is from a man from a department in Los Angeles who likely responded to the Northridge Earthquake, the Los Angeles riots. This is a man who has a lot of experience on the scene so we're very grateful for his time, Brian.

PALMER: Thank you, Carol.

LIN: A difficult situation out there indeed.

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