7:30 PM--In a Pentagon briefing more symbolic than it was informative, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters Tuesday evening the Pentagon would reopen for business Wednesday, despite the devastating terrorist attack on the building. Rumsfeld declined to speculate about the number of casualties, but allowed "it will not be a few." Defense officials are checking personnel rosters to confirm the whereabouts of employees. Rumsfeld said the Pentagon would release casualty data as quickly as possible, although he declined to speculate when that would be. As rescue efforts were underway to recover the bodies of military personnel killed in the attack, Rumsfeld, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton emphasized the attack would not deter American resolve or American interests. The nation's focus on recovery of those injured and killed would be matched by its determination to root out terrorism, Levin said. "Our institutions are strong and our unity is palpable," he said. Said Warner: "This is the most tragic hour in America's history, and yet, I think it can be our finest hour." The National Military Command Center, the nerve center for military operations, has remained open and operational throughout the day.
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