- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001

NEW YORK For most, it is as though no time has passed in one week, that the sickening moment of the impact still holds an entire city in its bloody grasp.
People get up, go to work, eat lunch and tend their children, perhaps a little more anxiously, but the memories of the burning, falling towers, just blocks away, is seared in the city's collective consciousness.
"It seems like we're still in the moment," said Michelle Chandler, 30, who still sees the buildings falling in her mind, a sight she witnessed through the windows of her Brooklyn apartment. "Not much has changed."
In Times Square, zero hour 8:48 a.m. is frozen on a large clock to mark the one week since the event. Passers-by, their faces fixed in some distant concentration, have decorated a corner of this storied intersection at the nation's crossroads with the inevitable paraphernalia of tragedy flowers, candles, personal diaries and the pictures of those who will probably remain missing for a long time, if not forever.
Despite fading hopes for life among the ruins, relatives and friends still tenderly place those pictures and their phone numbers on the memorial tableaux. It is a shrine of sorrow. "Juan Lafuente, 61, 5'8" … wearing a dark shirt and dark shorts … on the 4 subway … walking on Wall Street after 9 a.m."
The still-mourning came under clouding skies as swarms of pigeons swooped over the square, flying above the marquees of Broadway theaters, some of which may soon go dark because of little business. James Pates, who spent the past week volunteering at the disaster site, dropped by Times Square to read the notes. "I just want to do my part, he said.
Another passer-by, Christopher Miraldi, said: "This is where I was when it happened. So it only seemed right to be here today."
At countless points throughout the city including that corner of hell called Ground Zero and its still-smoking mountain of rubble New Yorkers stopped for a moment of silence to honor the dead and missing, even though they never seem far from anyone's mind.
In Central Park by the model-boat pond, strollers, many of whom had just attended Jewish holiday services at the local synagogues, sat in groups reading the local newspapers. "Do teeth burn?" a woman asked another. Her friend said nothing. "I guess teeth are all that survive, said her friend, who had the New York Times in her lap.
In the background, strains of "The Star-Spangled Banner" rose as an elderly man on a bicycle decorated with American flags rode by. The national anthem boomed from a tape recorder he had affixed to the handle bars.
On a bench by the lake, Mrs. Chandler sat with her brother, Omar, 31, a sales employee for Ralph Lauren. Both talked softly about the death toll and what it means. Although not an Arab, Mr. Chandler said he had already sensed anti-Arab feeling around town as people noticed his first name printed on a suit bag he carried. The Chandlers, who are black, said that they had patronized three Arab-owned shops in their native Brooklyn and noticed that in each case there were pictures pasted to the walls of Middle Eastern men in heroic poses brandishing guns.
"We didn't think anything of it until this happened," said Mr. Chandler.
"You know," said his sister, "many of us in the black community used to think that this was the white government's fight, that they had no beef with us. No more. Now, it's about being an American."
Said Omar, "I want to find 'em and kill 'em."

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