It’s been four years since the September 11 tragedy, and as West Chester and the rest of the nation remember this tragedy, I have some new reflections, in thinking more about New York City and how it has made a grand comeback in the last four years. Not to say I am forgetting the bloody tragedy that occurred that infamous day, but there are positive developments, post-9/11 ,which we can all be proud of. As a recent USA Today article states, New York has made quite a recovery. “The Big Apple” had a record last summer, with hotels busier and pricier than ever. Business travelers are back to negotiating transactions, and tourists are visiting in record numbers, motivated partly by a sense of “patriotic duty.” This economic boom shows no sign of letting up. As a native New Yorker, I actually made my own “pilgrimage , ” when I traveled to Brooklyn on Labor Day weekend to see my family. What I hadn’t really planned on was walking down the shore road of Bay Ridge to find the newly dedicated Brooklyn 9/11 memorial, which faces the neighboring Manhattan Island.
This experience was moving to me, but also awe-inspiring to see that others were making this “trip” in September motivated by patriotism. Others from around the United States who never considered traveling to New York in the summer time are taking their vacations there, including Christine Scott of Knoxville who goes to the city three or four times a year. “We were just determined not to change our plans [because of the terrorism],” she said.
Of course, New York’s comeback can not only be credited to patriotism, but also to its strong leadership during and after the September 11 attacks. Rudy Giuliani is one of the most sought-after public speakers in America now, and George Pataki is finishing his final term as New York Governor. As we remember 9/11 this week, let us keep in mind what we all know as “The Big Apple” and what I now refer to as “The Big Triumph,” New York City. Many of you have visited the city post- 9/11 already, but to those of you who haven’t, there can’t be a better way to show one’s patriotism than to make this pilgrimage. New York is a truly fine city. Do not be deceived by the leftist Ward Churchill who, in his essay Some People Push Back, called the World Trade Center victims “little echimanns,” comparing hard-working New Yorkers to the engineers of the Nazi Holocaust.
Then again, if you hate capitalism, you’ll more than likely hate America and Americans. Churchill’s essay alludes to this truth. Sadly, left-wingers who claim to “fight hate speech” are usually among the first to jump to Churchill’s defense in the name of “academic liberty.” Ignore Churchill and see for yourself the city of New York in its magnificence. It is worth seeing now more than ever. Now, four years after the 9/11 terror attacks crippled the city’s travel and tourism industry, visitors still love New York. This city has bounced back from disaster, andinevitably, so will New Orleans.
This land of opportunity is also a land of second chances and comebacks, and that is what makes America so great. Anthony Maalouf is a senior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.