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N.Y. couples flock to city clerk to set marriage-license record

SHARE N.Y. couples flock to city clerk to set marriage-license record

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of couples have flocked to the only city clerk's office open since the terrorist attacks to wed or get marriage licenses, with many saying the tragedy moved them to act.

More than 400 people trekked to the Queens office on Friday, where the wait for many couples lasted hours. The four other city clerk's offices were closed after the Sept. 11 hijackings that damaged the agency's central computer system.

Some couples kissed and hugged. Many wore wedding dresses and suits and brought witnesses along. One groom-to-be wore a Yankees cap with his tuxedo.

Some, like Lauren Zirlin and Scott Rownin, stood in line awaiting a license for a wedding they'd been planning for months.

Others, like Ray Lin and Jianhui Lee, both immigrants from China, said they were moved to wed by the attacks. Lin said the couple picked Friday as their wedding day "to show faith in this country."

Officials were unable to determine whether the number of weddings in New York City had been higher since the attacks, but Dora Young, the deputy city clerk in Queens, said Friday was the busiest day in her tenure. Ceremonies averaged three minutes.

In one brief ceremony, Donald Chung, a Brooklyn resident from Jamaica, married Cynthia Nain, who is from Suriname.

"It's just the right time," Chung said.