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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid