Thursday, February 24, 2005

THE FOREVER LOST. In case you thought the suffering resulting from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers had ceased, you should know that there are still 1,161 victims whose remains have not been identified. They may be the Forever Lost.

The New York City medical examiner's office announced that it has stopped trying to identify the remains. They have been working since September 2001, but forty-two percent of the 2,749 victims remain unidentified. This is not due to lack of effort on the part of the ME, but to the difficulty of the task.

The catastrophic nature of the event produced body parts and bone and tissue fragments rather than bodies in many cases. The ME has resorted to DNA testing in an attempt to identify the lost. The ME has basically reached the limit of existing technology and cannot do any more with the 9,720 body parts in its custody.

I cannot imagine calling people to tell them you cannot identify their missing family member.

Sally Regenhard, who lost her son, a firefighter, said "For me, the chance to find out what exactly happened to my son is over. For so many families of firefighters, our sons and husbands have disappeared into death."

Never forget.
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