- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2001

NEW YORK The "missing" posters that were once a mosaic of hope are becoming painful and plentiful reminders of the lost.
"Missing: Last seen at Two WTC, 103rd floor, Sept. 11 8:54 a.m." The message is always the same: A loved one is missing, and information is sought to find that person.
But Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said Friday that the hope of finding anyone alive now is "very, very small" and the focus of the cleanup will switch gradually to recovering bodies.
In turn, a mood of resignation is growing among family and friends. Their loved ones are not going to be found alive.
At one site in Washington Square in Greenwich Village, a letter lay at a memorial, from a girl, Danielle M., written to her missing friend, Ginger.
"I hope every second that there will be a miracle and you'll turn up on a hospital list," reads the neatly written note, "because at least then you'd be alive, and injuries could heal. But if you died, none of us could heal."
It concludes: "I hope you get a chance to read this either on earth or in Heaven. I pray for you."
The walls around the city's armory, a convergence site where survivors check for any updated information on their loved ones, still are pasted with missing posters. But many of them are now crinkled by rain.
The walls are becoming makeshift altars and impromptu memorials.
Flowers, candles, tracts and typed Bible verses sit beneath the posters and tributes are now common, as if Mr. Giuliani's pronouncement is starting to take hold: There likely are no more survivors.
One note, looking for any information at all about a young man, asks anyone for an answer: "Did you see him? Was he happy?" Then, as if knowing there is no return: "God is with you. I am with you. You are missed."
They know. Acknowledgement is slow. But they know.
"I think families knew that in three or fours days," said Susan Mejias, a nurse who frequently has visited the numerous memorial sites around the city since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
The posters and perhaps even the belief that these people are missing are a way to hold on, she said.
"They do what they have to in order to stay in touch, somehow, with those clothes that are in the closet that aren't being worn."
"We miss all of you," reads an ink scrawling on a piece of typing paper at several sites.
The once lingering study of posters is now becoming a furtive glance at most places.
"It's a shame," said one young man, looking quickly at a wall of the missing at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street. At a phone booth are 13 posters, all showing the smiling faces of people who are, by now, presumed to be dead.
He stopped for a second to take a second look at a particularly happy woman, shown on the flyer in her wedding dress.
"It's a miserable thing," he said. And he walked on.
He missed one, and it no doubt would have bothered the agitated gentleman even more.
A photo of a middle-aged Hispanic man, a paraplegic, who is noted on the aging flyer as missing from Tower 2.
"My dad is out there somewhere, unable to get in touch with us," his son writes.
He ends his plea for help with an assurance: "Daddy, we will find you and bring you home."
Officials were careful to make known that yesterday's service at Yankee Stadium was only a prayer service, not a memorial.
But it was both to Suk Tan Chin and 14 family members, who went to the minor league KeySpan Park baseball stadium in Coney Island, where the event was simulcast.
They are looking for Robert Chin, a 33-year-old who worked for Xerox at Fiduciary Trust in Tower 2. Mr. Chin has a case number, PO715. He is listed with police as a missing person.
Every day, family members call police to see if anything new has turned up.

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