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Service held for first New York policeman
NEW YORK -- In the same church where he was married a dozen years ago, a police officer who died at the World Trade Center was remembered Friday by friends and family -- the first service for the 23 NYPD members killed in the terrorist attack.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was among the mourners for Officer Vincent Danz at a Long Island church. Danz called his wife from the north tower on Sept. 11, leaving a message on their answering machine before the building collapsed.
"I love you," he said. "I'll talk to you when I get out of here."
The Danz memorial was one of 18 funerals and services Friday for uniformed personnel killed in the terrorist attack. The services began shortly after another body was recovered from ground zero, wrapped in an American flag and brought out from the site.
The body of the 38-year-old Danz, along with the bodies of the other 22 city police officers, remain missing. The total of people missing stayed at 4,986, and the number of confirmed dead was 380.
Danz, a 14-year police veteran, left behind a widow and three daughters: Winifred, 8, Emil, 5, and Abigail, 6 months.
The work at the site continued around the clock, with crews told to keep an eye out for unusual items in the rubble.
The Bank of Nova Scotia said Friday that about $200 million of its gold and silver was buried below the wreckage of 4 World Trade Center. The metals were inside a vault and, "We have every reason to believe it is safe and intact," said Diane Flanagan, a spokeswoman for the Toronto-based bank.
Salvage workers were also told to turn over to police any weapons they find. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has yet to locate two evidence vaults from 6 World Trade Center, ATF spokesman Joseph Green said.
As the mourning continued more than three weeks after the attack, a structural engineer studying the twisted steel recovered from the twin towers' site indicated that intense fires fed by jet fuel collapsed the 110-story buildings.
"The airplane did not do much damage," said Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, a University of California-Berkeley professor, referring to the hijacked jetliners that struck the buildings.
Also Friday, Giuliani announced the city would continue a carpooling rule next week that bars single-occupant passenger vehicles from coming into Manhattan on several East River bridges and tunnels.
Meanwhile, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, six blocks from the trade center, reopened for the first time since the attack. People attending the event included U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, Gov. George Pataki, City Council head Peter Vallone and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
"It is our choice to open this museum," Clinton, D-N.Y., said. "It is our choice in choosing hope over despair."
Giuliani, who missed the reopening to attend the memorial service, sent a letter to city employees praising them for "their dedication and commitment to excellence."
The letter accompanied his annual management report on city services.
The city, in an effort to get businesses up and running, has turned over some office space to displaced businesses, the mayor said. Clinton, after shopping at a reopened flower shop and children's bookstore downtown, reiterated that financial help was available for small businesses.
Out of 17,300 businesses that could qualify for small business disaster loans, only 950 have applied, according to the senator's office.
Also, Pataki announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse counties statewide to cover their costs for sending emergency aid to New York City after the attack.