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Rsecue Workers Hail Military Action

October 8, 2001

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Workers helping clear the rubble of the World Trade Center learned of Sunday’s military strikes against Afghanistan by word of mouth and from a television that had been set up in a makeshift washroom.

The reaction was relatively subdued _ no cheers arose, no backs were slapped _ but the ground zero crew nevertheless hailed the reprisals.

``It’s big-time payback,″ said construction worker Charles Rios, 38. ``I’m so happy now.″

``There’s definitely a patriotic sense of revenge,″ said Duane Hinkson, who has been working to restore telephone service around the debris-strewn site.

Joseph Bonneau added that he agreed with the strikes ``as long as they make sure they get (Osama bin Laden) and we don’t lose any soldiers over there.″

Earlier Sunday, several hundred workers took part in a half-hour prayer service amid the ruins of the twin towers, which collapsed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

``The work that all of you are doing here is God’s work, it is holy work, and we appreciate it and love you for it,″ Fire Department Chaplain John Delendick said.

For Jimmy Morrison, who was removing asbestos from the site, Sunday’s strikes were overdue: ``It’s about time. They’re about three weeks late in my opinion.″

Morrison’s construction helmet bore a purple skull and the words ``Time’s Up.″

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