Millions of immigrants have passed through New York's Historic Battery Park upon arriving in the United States. Tuesday, the city unveiled a newly refurbished promenade there - just south of where the World Trade Center used to stand.
Located at the southern tip of Manhattan, Battery Park is a place of great natural beauty, looking out onto the Statue of Liberty as she presides over New York Harbor. In recent years the park has fallen into disrepair.
But the unveiling of a newly refurbished upper promenade section of the Park marks an end to that decline, and another step in the ongoing effort to rebuild Manhattan's downtown in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack. The upper promenade, just a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, features a "Garden of Remembrance" - thousands of flowers dedicated to victims of the attack will bloom there in the spring.
Students from New York's Stuyvesant High School, which served as an impromptu triage center on September 11 and was closed for several weeks following the attacks, carried flags representing the 82 countries which lost citizens in the attack. Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a message for those nations. "We share something very, very important in common, and that is grieving and mourning over the loss of innocent people at the hands of terrorists," he said. "Because of that, we should remind ourselves that we share something else in common. I hope we do, and that is an equal dedication to political freedom, to human rights, to protecting human life, and that this should bring us closer together in understanding that the values on which you base a civilized society unite people."
The new Upper Promenade represents the first fruit of a $6.6 million partnership between New York City, New York State, and private philanthropists established four years ago to revitalize Battery Park.