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Oregon group looks at World Trade Center ruins.

Byline: The Register-Guard

NEW YORK - Quarterback Joey Harrington's weekend of Heisman Trophy festivities began Friday afternoon with a somber visit to Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed by terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

With the Oregon entourage, including UO President Dave Frohnmayer, Harrington took the subway to the place where thousands lost their lives, visiting 60 years to the day after another dark day in U.S. history, the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The visit, coordinated by the mayor's office, came at virtually the same time that a motorcade brought First Lady Laura Bush to the site to view the work that continues day and night at the devastated scene.

The First Lady's contingent left the area before the Oregon group was escorted to a platform overlooking the site of the collapsed buildings, where survivors of the victims and other visitors have left flowers, cards and hand-written notes of love, grief and farewell.

"Daddy, I'll always love you," said one card, signed "Your little girl."

Harrington and the Oregon group stood quietly while the sound of machinery drone and sparks flew from work being done on the remanants of the first WTC tower. Later, Harrington autographed UO caps for some of the workers.

"You see all the pictures on TV, but to see it in person was unbelievable," Harrington said softly. "I expected it be very moving, something of that magnitude, and it was. It was very powerful."

Harrington noted all the messages of remembrance written on the handrail of the platform. "It affected so many people," he said. "You thought you got the full grasp of things looking on TV. Now it's just about cleaned up, and you can only imagine 10 stories of debris."

Said Bill Moos, Oregon's athletic director: "It was very sobering. It puts everything into perspective, why the sports page isn't the front page."

- Ron Bellamy
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 8, 2001
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