Pentagon Changes Defense PrioritiesNEWSDAY -- WASHINGTON
Three weeks after the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, the Pentagon Monday restored homeland defense as its top military priority and said the mission would fall mostly to reservists and the National Guard, not active-duty forces.
Defense officials are considering appointing a single high-ranking military commander to control all homeland forces, in much the way one officer oversees all Army, Navy and Air Force units in the Middle East and other regions.
Beyond those proposals, the new four-year Pentagon strategy blueprint released Monday offered few specifics on how the military envisions defending America from another terrorist attack.
Homeland security returned to being the No. 1 priority after years of being designated a lesser military concern. Even before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others said that homeland security would be a focus of the strategy blueprint, which is updated every four years.
“Certainly since the fall of the Soviet Union, there’s been perceived to be no threat to the United States homeland, and on the 11th of September, that was very different and you must reconsider that,” said Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman. “It’s certainly restoring a place of prominence that may have been lost over time.”
Giuliani Urges U.N. to ActionNEWSDAY -- UNITED NATIONS
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- who once said the city would do just fine without the United Nations -- Monday praised the body in an address to the General Assembly, where he called for a firm international response to terror.
The mayor echoed and reinforced Bush administration positions in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, challenging the nations of the world to act with the United States to protect respect for the law and human life.
“You’re either with civilization or you’re with terrorism,” Giuliani declared. “We’re right and they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that.”
The mayor saluted the United Nations’ presence as the city recovers from the World Trade Center attacks and invited visitors to “come here now.”
More than 5,000 people, “of every race, religion and ethnicity” and from 80 nations were killed in the Sept. 11 attack on “the very idea of a free, inclusive and civil society,” said Giuliani, who cited the city’s “strong and vibrant Arab and Muslim communities.”
Church Lies Buried at Ground ZeroTHE BALTIMORE SUN -- NEW YORK
The heart of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church lies buried at ground zero. Precious relics sacred to the community’s worship have yet to be found.
The Rev. John Romas, who has served at St. Nicholas for 17 years, can only hope that they survived the destruction that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the nearby World Trade Center.
He has been to the area more than once to look for a safe containing the relics. His first visit was on the day after the attack. He found that his church, which once stood 250 feet from the center’s towers, had vanished.
“My church was down on the ground. It was 15-feet-high debris,” said Romas. “I started to cry, then I looked to my left side and there were so many people who had died.”
Donations from as far away as Greece and Italy have poured in to help rebuild the tiny church. Additional funds are coming in as part of a general appeal by the Greek Orthodox Church in America.