NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The grim and sad search for human remains in the debris from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks resumes Monday.
A total of 2,753 men and women were killed when terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. But all this time later, only 1,634, or about six in 10, have been identified.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, the unfinished business has the city starting a new, extended round of sifting and testing.
“At least they are trying,” said Monica Iken, whose husband, Michael, was killed in the attacks. His remains have never been located.
Iken is glad the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office has decided to make good on its promise to check 590 cubic yards of debris collected from construction sites in Lower Nanhattan.
This material was hauled to Staten Island, 60 big truckloads in all.
This gives Iken some hope her husband Michael’s remains. He was a bond broker on the 84th floor of Tower Two of the World Trade Center.
“I never was able to bring Michael home,” Monica Iken said. “It’s 11-plus years later.”
Since 2006, the sifting technology led to 34 additional positive identifications.
Iken said she realizes she may never get the call she’s waiting form, and she will go on honoring her husband’s memory in the one place that she says makes the most sense.
“All I have is this memorial; this place that he took his last steps, his last breath,” she said. “His final resting place for me is that place where he worked, which is on that memorial site, and that museum. I am very pleased we have this beautiful place to go.”
She added, “Whether he gets ID’d or not he’s at this beautiful place that I can visit go to and feel his presence.”
It will take about 10 weeks to sift through this particular collection of debris, but the city has promised families that DNA testing will continue until every possible identification can be made.
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