- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2001

Shoring up the collapsed portion of the Pentagon will take at least two more days after a large section of the roof slid into mounds of rubble in the collapsed part of the building, Arlington County Fire Battalion Chief Benjamin Barksdale said.
But "everything stayed in place," Chief Barksdale said in reference to the wooden pillars that recovery crews set up to support the part of the five-sided military headquarters damaged Tuesday in a terrorist airplane attack.
Recovery crews estimate about 350 million pounds of rubble must be removed from the site of the suicide crash, which killed 64 persons on American Airlines Flight 77 and 124 personnel in the Pentagon.
More than 2,500 pieces of lumber — each 12 feet long and 6 inches square — have been hauled in over the weekend for the shoring-up effort.
Fire officials said Saturday they needed to build five more 14-foot makeshift supports, but Chief Barksdale yesterday said they needed to build as many as 30 more.
"They just keep building these up like Lincoln logs," he said.
Chief Barskdale said recovery crews will be on the scene for at least another nine days, and a government official who asked not to be identified said the FBI could be on site for as many as four months.
An undetermined number of remains were removed from the site yesterday. To date, 88 bodies or sets of remains have been recovered and taken to morgues at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
The Defense Department yesterday said Navy Cmdr. Dan Frederic Shanower, 40, of Naperville, Ill., died in the attack, the second death the Pentagon has confirmed. The first was that of 1st Class Petty Officer Edward Thomas Earhart, 26, of Salt Lick, Ky.
The Defense Department lists 122 military and civilian personnel as unaccounted for and presumed dead.
Photos taken by the Army show that the airliner slid or bounced off the Pentagon's basement and into the lower floors of two of the complex's five "rings," namely the C and D rings.
The outermost ring — E — took the brunt of the plane's impact and was demolished, and one-third of the Pentagon was rendered useless.
Repairing the building could take several years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, government officials said.
A large pulverizer yesterday smashed rubble into smaller bits to be hauled off. Before crushing the concrete and steel, FBI investigators and officers with the Arlington County Police Department go through it and search for evidence.
After the debris is pulverized, it is taken to the Pentagon's north parking lot for more analysis.
Yesterday, hundreds of workers in and around the site took part in religious services. Christian services were held yesterday, Jewish and Islamic services on Friday and Saturday.
Grief counselors say that for many rescuers, the horror of what they have seen may not evidence itself until years from now.
Army Chaplain Col. Larry Racster, the on-site director of 25-plus chaplains at the site, said rescuers are searching for the reasons behind the death and destruction they see.
"They seek a chaplain," Col. Racster said. "They have all kinds of deep, spiritual yearnings."
One of the most-asked questions, he said, is why God would allow terrorists to cause such destruction at the Pentagon and the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York.
Col. Racster said his chaplains simply tell the rescuers that God is a loving being and "is not responsible for acts of evil."
The mental health of the rescuers has been a prime concern for those giving comfort and aid.
"The emotional toll it takes on them is overwhelming," said Katherine Jacobi, an American Red Cross volunteer who works for Arlington County Health Services.
Mrs. Jacobi said the shock has begun to wear off for most rescuers. Grief prevails, giving way to anger. The rescuers, who have worked for 12-hour stretches, are becoming desensitized to what they are seeing, she said.
"Our overall ability to stay numb can only last so long," she said.

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