The Fire Department of New York promoted 169 firefighters Sunday to fill the void left by the loss of possibly hundreds of firefighters in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
More than 300 firefighters are missing in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attack. The figure represents three times the number of firefighters who perish in the entire United States during the average year.
Among those missing are First Deputy Commissioner William Feehan and Chief of Department Peter Ganci Jr.
Chief of Operations Daniel Nigro, who delivered a eulogy Saturday at Ganci's memorial, will now assume Feehan's role as the FDNY's highest-ranking officer.
Assistant Chief Salvatore Cassano will move into Nigro's Chief of Operations slot.
"Our hearts are broken, no question about that," said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. "But our hearts are still beating, and they beat very, very strongly. Life is going to go on."
Hopeful that there are firefighters still alive in the rubble, FDNY officials gave promotions to several of those currently listed as missing.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that all the promotions were akin to battlefield commissions awarded during wartime.