News / USA

September 11 Anniversary Finds New Yorkers Healed, Resilient

Carolyn Weaver

In the decade since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, New York City has faced other terrorist plots as well as economic upheaval. Yet it has continued to rebuild, attracting new residents and more than 40 million tourists each year. As Carolyn Weaver reports, New Yorkers like to think of themselves as a tough bunch.

New York City seems much the same as it did 10 years ago, the streets bustling with traffic, tourists, and people going about their daily lives. Downtown, the rapidly rising new World Trade Center skyscraper is bringing life back even to Ground Zero. For many New Yorkers, the psychic wounds from 9/11 have also healed.

What's changed

Adam Sills, an English professor who lives in Brooklyn, says the attacks didn’t fundamentally change the city.

"If anything, it sort of confirmed the image of the city that it's always had, which is as a tough and resilient place, that we're able to take on sort of large challenges," notes Sills. "Come what will down the pike, people have this amazing ability to absorb it, and not only absorb it, but kind of even rise above the thing."

Sills’ wife, Jenn Jaffe, says they rarely think about 9/11, although they know that New York remains a likely terrorist target. They have a one-year-old son and are committed to their culturally diverse Brooklyn neighborhood.

"Hi there, sweetie! You look so happy!," exclaims Jaffe as she greets a neighbor. "I like being part of this community, I like being part of this city. And I love the people. I just love the diversity and the vibrancy. I like going down the street and hearing four different languages."

"It's interesting, because New York responded very differently to September 11th than did the rest of the country." says Columbia University psychology professor George Bonanno. He studies grief and collective trauma. Bonanno says research shows New Yorkers recovered more quickly than other Americans.

"Now, compared to the rest of the country, anxiety and generalized distress was high in the rest of the country for several years after 9/11, large-scale, all over the country, [but] that was not really the case in New York," Bonnano says.

A man walks by a building emblazoned with

Security


Yet, some New Yorkers are still deeply affected. Yudelka Cepeda, a paralegal, lives in the Bronx.

"When they review the images from 9/11, I feel like I want to cry still, and like my heart is broken," admits Cepeda. "Still now, when I'm talking to you, I feel like I want to cry, because of all the memories and things like that. It was hard."

Cepeda says she still loves living in New York - but she does not feel safe, especially on the subway. She wishes her 13-year-old daughter did not have to take the train to school.

"I want to go to a low-key, low-profile city where there's no subways and tall buildings, because I think New York City calls too much attention [to itself] - especially [from] terrorists," Cepeda says.

More committed

Yet others see no point in worrying. Adam Sills says marriage and fatherhood make him, if anything, more committed to New York.

"Having your world centered there, and including something like raising a family there, is in a way, the ultimate statement of, 'I think this is a special, I think this is an important place and it’s so special and so important, that why would that make me, you know, reconsider having children, or having family there in the first place?’" Sills explains.

He is far from alone. One-million more people are expected to move to New York in the next 20 years. They will become part of a city that - 10 years after its greatest disaster - lives in the present and the future, far more than it does in the past.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid