- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2001

NEW YORK — George Washington's horse has an American flag hanging from its left hoof. The statue stands proudly on a granite block on the south side of Union Square, a block that has been scribbled in chalk with "Love, Love, Love."
Peace-loving New Yorkers, mostly youths, participated in the writing of the graffiti, and John Elefanti, 24, is pretty angry.
The network administrator walked out the door of his Manhattan apartment yesterday as a volunteer to help the city in its rescue operations at the devastated World Trade Center.
But when he saw the defacement, he walked over into the Staples office-supply store, bought himself some large chunks of green and red chalk, and scratched out a message of his own, this on the sidewalk instead of a statue.
"Peace was yesterday, tomorrow = war," his words countered.
"I am not looking for war; it was brought to us," said Mr. Elefanti, who was volunteering to help find victims of Tuesday's attacks, in which two hijacked Boeing jets were crashed into the twin towers.
A third was crashed into the Pentagon.
"People are telling me, 'Peace,' and all that," he said. "But you know, it's not going to work that way. It's too late."
Day four after the attack found rescue workers continuing their efforts to search for survivors amid the rubble at the crash site of the World Trade Center. Workers used cranes to move the heaps of concrete and steel that were once vibrant office buildings, looking for any sign of life.
The city began to look more like itself again, on the first weekend day since the towers were rammed by hijacked jetliners in the heart of New York's financial district.
The decimation of a portion of the city remained on the lips of most.
In coffee shops, they debated the merits of a military attack on the enemy and, as Mr. Elefanti did, engaged in their own form of verbal warfare.
But back were the wise guys driving produce-delivery trucks, cursing at cabbies who in turn beeped at pedestrians in crosswalks.
Chinatown, with almost every business and stall graced by a paper American flag, was again a frenzied neighborhood of commerce. Yesterday, that commerce was serenaded by a marching band that paraded down Canal Street, which borders Chinatown to the north. The 30-person band was actually the National Organization for the Prevention of Starvation, which came from Huntsville, Ala., to provide support for the survivors and rescue workers.
They repeatedly played a tin-pan version of "America the Beautiful," perhaps the only song they knew, but people followed them for blocks.
The same followers of that parade stopped almost breathlessly at the sight of two New York police vehicles that had been in the crash area at the time of impact.
The cars, covered with dirt and mud, were towed from the site and parked on Mulberry Street for unknown reasons.
But they garnered tourist attention.
"It is an amazing sight, such power, such devastation," said Laurent LeFort, a construction worker from Brooklyn. He snapped a picture of the wrecked cars.
Someone scooped up some of the dirt into a plastic bag, a morbid souvenir of the devastation.
At the wreckage site, workers began clearing portions of the area with heavy equipment, which was not used earlier in the rescue effort for fear of injuring someone who might still be alive in the rubble.
So far, 152 bodies have been recovered, and 92 have been identified. Yesterday, the number of missing persons was listed at 4,972.

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