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Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
One week on: America reflects
Staff at the White House mark one week since the attacks
Staff stood in silence on the lawn of the White House
US President George W Bush has praised the American people for the charitable donations they have made since last Tuesday's attacks, but urged them to step up donations even further.

A fireman at the World Trade Center marks one minute silence
Workers at the World Trade Center paused to reflect
He said that $55m had been donated so far and announced that an organisation had been set up by six internet companies to raise that figure even more.

The appeal for donations came as America marked one week since the attacks.

Earlier in New York rescue workers at the World Trade Center paused at 0848 (12.48 GMT), the time the first plane struck, as in Washington Mr Bush and White House staff did the same.


Flanked by representatives from major US charities Mr Bush said that nothing had made him more proud than the generosity demonstrated by the American people in the last week.

"Our compassion and generous citizens have led the first phase in the war on terrorism. They have sustained and strengthened the home front," he said.

President George W Bush
President Bush was clearly moved by the ceremony

But he urged people to do more by giving food and money to national charities, donating their time to relief efforts, continuing to give blood and visiting Liberty Unites, a website set up by six internet companies to co-ordinate donations.

It is now one week since the disaster and in the morning a short service was held at the site of the World Trade Center at precisely the time the first plane hit.

Rescue workers, toiling round the clock at what is called "ground zero" put down their tools and stood and observed a minute's silence.

Silent remembrance

Across the rest of New York and throughout America, people fell silent too.

Mr Bush and members of his staff stood quietly on the White House lawn, in what was the only official government ceremony - the administration is keen to show that elsewhere it is business as usual.

A New Yorker marks one minute silence
Across New York silent prayers were offered up

After bowing his head to pray for a few moments, a visibly emotional Mr Bush returned to the Oval Office with tears in his eyes.

It is now six days since anyone was pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center alive and hope of finding any more survivors has almost gone.

New York City authorities have said that 5,422 people are still missing, including 300 fire-fighters and 67 police officers.

Officials said a total of 201 bodies have now been recovered, of which 135 have been identified.

Impossible odds

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said it was too early to give up the search for survivors.

"The simple reality is we're not going to be able to recover significant numbers of people, but we will continue to try," he said,

Trucks carrying rubble from the World Trade Center
Attention has shifted to the clean up

But a BBC correspondent in Manhattan says exhausted emergency teams are facing up to the fact that it is almost impossible anyone buried under the tons of rubble could still be alive.

The main attention has now shifted to the clear-up - only a fraction of the rubble has been removed and thick acrid smoke still hangs in the air as fires continue to burn.

New Yorkers are now back at work and talking of a return to normality, but thousands throughout the city remain traumatised by what they have experienced.

The BBC's Duncan Hewitt reports
"There is a patriotic intensity [in New York]"
See also:

18 Sep 01 | Americas
How to help the relief effort
16 Sep 01 | Americas
Finding that blitz spirit
17 Sep 01 | Americas
No ordinary commute
18 Sep 01 | Americas
Hopes fade for missing
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