The Daily Plant : Thursday, September 20, 2001
PARKS RESCUES AN ESTIMATED 1,000 ANIMALS
Last week, amid the wreckage of the fallen World Trade Center were live animals trapped in Battery Park City apartments that had been cordoned off from the public and from their owners. PEP Officers and Urban Park Rangers led the charge to enter the darkened apartment buildings and escort residents up as many as 26 flights of stairs to a menagerie of household pets that included dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, turtles, rabbits, and those oft-contested urban animals: ferrets. The number of animals rescued was estimated at 1,000.
As trained animal workers and security personnel, Rangers and PEP officers were authorized to enter apartment buildings that were closed to the public, and assist residents in the retrieval of their most important belongings. And having been present in lower Manhattan since Tuesday morning, they were well prepared to help.
The Urban Park Service was holding a training session in Battery Park City on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 when two planes hit and then destroyed the Twin Towers. They were among the first uniformed officers to appear at Ground Zero. Wednesday afternoon when owners and officers grew concerned with the safety of stranded animals, the Urban Park Service established an office at Pier 40, one of the City’s staging grounds, where they organized names, addresses, and pet information. One at a time, with flashlights and animal carriers in hand, they led New Yorkers back, for the first time, into their apartments.
All but one animal were found alive. Many were so frightened they were placed immediately in animal boxes. One apartment was home to 15 frightened cats, another to a boy’s pet newt borrowed from school. Pet owners were relieved to be reunited with their animals. And after receiving food and water at Pier 40, many of the animals regained their composure. The work continued through rain, the loss of electricity, collapsing buildings, and the fall of night, until Saturday afternoon. At this point all known pets had been rescued, and the Rangers and Officers led residents back to their apartments in groups of fifteen. Residents were permitted just a few minutes in which to gather personal identification and any household items that would help in the identification of missing loved ones.
As New Yorkers alternate between expressions of grief and acts of heroism, 250 Parkies brought comfort to thousands of New Yorkers and showed themselves to be among the heroes.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, September 22, 1988)
NATHAN HALE DAY CELEBRATED
AT STATUE IN CITY HALL PARK
The 212th anniversary of the death of Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War patriot, was observed in City Hall Park today with fife and drums, proclamations and prayers, speeches, wreaths and poetry.
The noontime ceremony, which took place at the Nathan Hale Statue, joined J. Robert Lunney, President of the Sons of the Revolution of the State of New York, historians, schoolchildren and Commissioner Stern.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"By heaven methinks it were an easy leap
To pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honor by the locks."
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
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