At the scene:
Nov. 4, 2001
Thoughts from The Meridian Star's staff writer Marianne Todd as she follows several Meridian firefighters on their visit to Ground Zero in New York.
Security has been increased at Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Center. Security officers have been instructed that no one is allowed to enter without the city's permission. Officers stopped a Ryder truck on Sunday to look into the truck's contents. People who flocked to the scene were turned away and asked not to take "tourist" photos.
Vendors along New York's streets near the work site are taking advantage of the tragedy to sell American flags, t-shirts and other World Trade Center paraphernalia. The merchandise moved slowly this past weekend as most tourists ignored the vendors' booths.
Ash and soot covered nearby buildings, street signs and cars that have been left there since the Sept. 11 attack. The soot is at least a half inch thick several blocks from where the twin towers once stood.
Hundreds of photographs, flowers, flags, notes, letters and signs adorn the streets, especially near churches close to Ground Zero.
Tractor trailers leaving the scene are first sprayed with heavy amounts of water to cool materials being hauled away and to wash off pollution carried by the trucks.
Surrounding buildings are covered with sheaths, possibly to keep debris from falling on rescue workers.
Although fights escalated last week between New York firefighters and police officers, who were carrying out the city's orders to scale back the number of rescue workers, work continued this weekend undaunted.
A group of cheerleaders has been formed at Christopher and West streets to cheer on firefighters, police, debris truck drivers, U.S. mail carriers, catering truck drivers and to express gratitude for all these workers do.
Meridian Fire Chief
Jimmy Hoffer, Meridian Fire Department public relations officer
Dianne Partridge, wife of Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge
Gerald Mabry, Meridian firefighter.