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Legislature Expresses Solidarity With U.S. People

Memorial Service Held

Mourning Period Declared

NYC Primary Postponed

Calderon Sees Off Rescue Workers

Puerto Rico To Assist In Relief Efforts


Families Await Word

September 14, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- When Lourdes Galleti Diaz returned from New York to visit her mother in Puerto Rico last month, she told her she felt uneasy working in the World Trade Center.

``Mom, I'm afraid that another terrorist attack will happen and I'll be stuck on the 105th floor,'' Milagros Diaz recalled her daughter saying.

Galleti's instincts were correct. The 32-year-old secretary had arrived for work on that very floor in the north tower when a plane slammed into the building Tuesday.

For nearly two days, Diaz didn't know where her daughter was. She awaited word at home in the town of Penuelas in southern Puerto Rico, leaving messages on her daughter's cellular phone and praying through tears.

When Diaz finally reached Galleti's boss by phone on Wednesday night, she learned her daughter was dead, ending the excruciating wait that still grips hundreds of families throughout the Caribbean. New York has large Puerto Rican and Dominican communities.

In Puerto Rico, officials said Thursday that of more than 1,000 calls to the American Red Cross by people looking for relatives and friends, more than 800 callers were still waiting for answers. Nearly 200 had found the people they were seeking.

In the Dominican Republic, the Red Cross had received 210 such calls, and in at least 140 cases, the person sought was later found to be alive.

Legislature Expresses Solidarity With U.S. People

By Proviana Colon Diaz

September 13, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

The Legislature unanimously approved Thursday a Senate resolution to express their solidarity with the people of the United States and their indignation with the terrorist attacks that the cities of New York, Washington D.C., and Pittsburgh were subject to Tuesday.

The approved resolution reads:

"The United States of America is the most powerful, stable, and solid nation of the world, but is also an authentic defender of peace and human rights. If it is true that the great powers can be vulnerable to terrorist attacks, this in no way allows the display of terror to which this nation has fallen victim to."

An English copy of the approved resolution will be sent to President George W. Bush, members of the U.S. Congress, New York Gov. George Pataki, and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, as well as Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila.

High-Ranking Officials Attend Service In Memory Of Attack Victims

By Proviana Colon Diaz

September 12, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

The Old San Juan Catholic Cathedral was the site of a multi-religious, multi-political ecumenical service Wednesday afternoon in memory of the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the United States.

For a little over an hour, religious and political boundaries were forgotten as high-ranking representatives of separate religious beliefs took an active role in the service, and both Gov. Sila Calderon and San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini, among others, addressed the audience in the cathedral, which was filled to capacity.

Calderon, who had requested the service, said the heart of the Puerto Rican people beats along with the heart of the United States because they share the same basic principles of democracy and personal liberty.

"May this prayer help us think and understand that peace and goodwill will always prevail over evil," Calderon said.

Santini prayed for God's blessing over Puerto Rico and the United States and for the souls of the victims.

Puerto Rico Declares National Mourning Due To Terrorist Attack

September 12, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Gov. Sila Calderon ordered the Puerto Rican and the U.S. flags to be lowered at half-mast until Sunday at all public agencies of the island as a sign of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.

Pataki Orders Postponement Of Primaries Across State


September 12, 2001
Copyright © 2001 THE NEW YORK TIMES. All rights reserved.

Barely five hours after the polls opened in New York City, Gov. George E. Pataki ordered primary elections across the state postponed indefinitely yesterday as city officials struggled to cope with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Pataki's executive order stopped the election literally in midstream: polls were open, New Yorkers were voting, and the candidates were attending to their last subway stops, interviews, telephone calls and literature distribution.

Instead, upon hearing the news – or seeing, as was the case with two of the mayoral candidates, the smoke billowing from the World Trade Center towers – the candidates headed for hospitals to donate blood, or their offices to follow the events, or home to join stunned family members.

Elections officials said it was the first time in memory that a primary had been postponed after voting had begun.

Mr. Pataki's assistants said they had no idea when the election might be rescheduled.

[The primary has since been rescheduled For Sept. 25, with a runoff, If necessary, set For Oct. 11]

One question that will have to be confronted in the days ahead is whether votes that were cast yesterday morning should be thrown out or counted as part of the final total. That would keep people from having to vote twice.

In New York City, the candidates responded to the disaster in different ways. Among the Democrats, Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, was preparing to go donate blood to help the victims.

Herman Badillo, a Republican candidate, had intended to spend the day campaigning in the Bronx, and then head off to vote at 3:30 p.m. He never had that opportunity.

Calderon Sees Off Puerto Ricans En Route To Aid N.Y.

By Proviana Colon Diaz

September 12, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

Gov. Sila Calderon personally said goodbye and good luck on Wednesday to the 40 Puerto Rican men and women who departed early in the morning en route to New York in an effort to aid state and federal authorities in the search and rescue mission at the devastated site where the World Trade Center twin towers used to be before Tuesday's terrorist attack.

"I want to express my deepest gratitude for your availability to go and work in the name of Puerto Rico. May God bless you, and may you return soon," Calderon said.

The group, consisting of one unit of 25 members from the State Emergency Management Agency and another 15-member firefighter specialist unit, departed aboard a National Guard airplane shortly after 11 a.m. More than 700 blood units were also taken to New York aboard the flight.

A unit of 250 doctors and nurses from the Puerto Rico National Guard is still waiting for authorization from New York authorities.

Calderon and N.Y. Gov. George Pataki spoke late Tuesday night, when he accepted her offer for the search and rescue units. He would later inform her when the medical unit could be received.

Pataki was hopeful that the extra aid in the search and rescue mission could be beneficial in saving victims, who may still be alive beneath the rubble.

Puerto Rico Government To Assist In Relief Efforts

By Proviana Colon Diaz

September 11, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

The Puerto Rico government will deploy to New York a special Civil Defense 58-rescue unit, a Fire Department unit and a 250-member National Guard doctors and nurses unit to assist authorities in their recovery efforts from Tuesday's terrorist attacks "as soon as possible", said Governor Calderon.

Although the number of victims remains unknown, as well as their identification, it is certain that Puerto Ricans are among the casualties, since more than three million of them live in New York.

"I am very worried, and my heart is filed with sadness for all the Puerto Rican citizens and the Dominican brothers who worked in these buildings," said the governor, adding that all island residents should "grab on to our faith."

Calderon, a supporter of New York Gov. George Pataki, said she immediately contacted him after the tragedy and offered her support. Similar communications were held with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's office and the White House.

The governor added that "this is a moment of profound pain, to unite will and solidarity."

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