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Mayor apologizes for not attending more funerals


NEW YORK (CNN) -- After attending another round of funerals and memorial services Saturday, Mayor Rudy Giuliani apologized to the families of those uniformed service workers who died in the line of duty whose services he has missed.

"I think every one of these men should have the mayor, the fire commissioner, the police commissioner present for their burial service," he said.

But the sheer numbers make that an impossible goal to meet, he said. "We can't be at all of them because there are 20, 25 of them a day.

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"We try to communicate that, through letters and other things, that we hope we'll be able to get together with all of them in the very near future."

The mayor, who has attended dozens of services since the September 11 attacks that toppled the World Trade Center's twin towers, said he leaves them with more energy than he had when he showed up.

"Particularly in a small village setting, when you see thousands and thousands of people turn out, it's very inspiring ... and gives you strength."

More bodies recovered

As of Saturday, the number of bodies recovered rose to 393, of which 335 have been identified, the mayor said. The estimate of missing persons remains at 4,979

Also, 1,382 people had applied for death certificates for family members missing in the trade center attacks, Giuliani said.

So far, 195,259 tons of debris and another 44,515 tons of steel have been removed in 12,824 truckloads.

Monday is Columbus Day, a holiday for many, but the stock exchanges and banks will be open. The city will have in effect its travel restrictions requiring vehicles entering Manhattan below 63rd Street Monday between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. to have more than one person.

Based on how traffic flows, city officials will consider opening streets in the area near Ground Zero during the work week, too, he said.

New York celebrates

Columbus Day celebrations are expected to go forward this weekend: parades are slated to take place Sunday in the Bronx and Staten Island.

Monday's parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will be dedicated to the memory of the people who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, Giuliani said.

The mayor also noted that the city seems to be recovering. New York is "open for business," he said. "It appears as if it's pretty darned crowded today."


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