KFWB radio reporting for Friday, October 5th, 2001
Numbers are such sterile things. In a time like this they almost obscure the human toll.
Not the two new sets of them this morning.
From the Office of the Comptroller of the City of New York, the forecast of the total financial loss: $105 billion. Contained in that incomprehensible number, something as ridiculous as: $82 million lost because fewer traffic tickets will be issued. And then something as confusing as $11 billion lost in "human capital." What could "human capital" be? It's the amount those killed here might have earned during the rest of their lifetimes.
From the Mayor's Command Center: 5,300 human remains as yet unidentified... an estimate, two to three weeks before an extensive DNA matching program begins to lower that horrifying statistic.
Finally, look at the latest daily list of revisions to each category of victim: confirmed dead, reported dead, reported missing. Fifty-two names, and that figure is heartbreaking enough, for one day. But go on-line and find that list, and read the names out aloud, just the names, and it will take you about two minutes if you can make it through.
Months ago, the United States Figuring Skating Association had scheduled for tonight, here at the Madison Square Garden arena, a solemn anniversary. Forty years ago, nearly the entire American skating community - stars, juniors, coaches - was killed in a plane crash in Belgium.
Now, the event is for the benefit of not just the Association's Memorial Fund, but also for several charities attending to victims of September 11th. And that's because one 16-year old girl, from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, decided to put aside thoughts of retirement, and skate tonight.
Her name is Joanna Glick. She quit the sport last spring and focused on being a high school student, and running track. And then her 31-year old brother got on board United Flight 93 on the morning of September 11th. His name was Jeremy and you have doubtless heard about him. He was the college judo champion who is believed to be among the passengers who helped thwart the hijackers plans for that Newark to San Francisco flight that ultimately crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Joanna skates here tonight to the Sarah McLachlan song "I Will Remember You." Then next week, or next month, with a corporate sponsor, she will begin touring high schools nationwide to talk about freedom... and heroes.