Monday: Wall Street Rings the Bell
As dignitaries, including New York Gov. George Pataki and Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton and Sec. of the Treasury Paul O'Neill looked on, the opening bell -- struck by a New York fire marshal -- rang at the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning at 9:30, its regular opening time. It was preceded by two minutes of silence, then an a cappella rendition of "God Bless America," delivered by a marine corporal. Loud cheers and applause greeted the bell. Outside, with a palpable somber mood in the air, Wall Street bond traders, bankers and stock analysts started returning to work in the area shortly after 7 a.m., quietly refilling the streets that were evacuated last Tuesday immediately after the first World trade Tower explosion occurred. "We're going to stick our thumb in the eye of the murderers," O'Neill said early in the day. A smoky smell still clings to the air, and a steady hum of emergency generators, brought in to replace the main power supply disrupted by the attack, reverberates throughout the financial district as this is being written. Police remain clustered in large numbers up and down the street. A giant U.S. flag is draped the front of the New York Stock Exchange, which stands only three blocks southeast of where once stood the twin towers, and flower bouquets are constantly being delivered to offices in the area. On the edge of the financial district, at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center, notes the Associated Press, the windows of emergency departments are plastered with pictures of people missing in the attacks. Many of the faces worked for financial firms.
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