Streets of New York
08 September, 2011
Streets of New York

 

School is back in session. For some students and teachers this has been too short of a summer break, but for my brother, who is now attending his first year at a New York University, the fall couldn’t come fast enough.

I suspect his excitement had something to do with the new city he was about to start living in all on his own without any parental guidance. Freedom at last. But before he was set free, we, the overbearing parents

and siblings decided to follow him. You know, in case he got lost on his way to school. After days of cajoling and reminding him who is paying the tuition fees he reluctantly agreed for us to install him in his new dorms and so we flew to New York.

 

 

Our taxi drove us to our hotel late night, and we noticed a very large police presence around the area we were staying in. We didn’t think much about it (TMZ had reported that Kim Kardashian was in town, so we thought the police was there as security for a celebrity) until the next morning when we walked to the subway and noticed the same police force presence. We asked a passerby and he simply turned and pointed in land. It became obvious right away what he was pointing to.

It turned out that the hotel we stayed in was right near the Ground Zero. That wasn’t the best place to start a new life in New York. Although my brother was just a little boy when the 911 attacks happened, it wasn’t something easily forgotten. The upcoming ten year anniversary of the attacks appeared like a dark cloud on an otherwise sunny day. It reminded us of the emotional scars the world was given on that horrible day. Most of the world had seen tragedies, wars and bloodied conflicts, but for young Americans college students the attack was a declaration of war, our own Pearl Harbor.

We watched the construction at the former twin towers space from a glass walkway above. The area where the twin towers were located looked so much bigger on TV, and in reality across the street from behind the glass, it seems impossible that two giant towers used to stand there.

But inside all this dark matter, there was something uplifting about the area, and I am not talking about the fork lift. I am talking about the men and women who are now working on rebuilding the site. Instead of abandoning the area and putting a black plaque there as a sign of surrender, the new and improved Freedom tower is already in the works. And the memorial site designed for families and visitors is something else as well. Sadly there are unpleasant reminders of threats to the country, as U.S. State Department issues new travel alert ahead of the anniversary, but little caution may go a long way. Better safe than sorry. My brother is optimistic. He says New York represents the best of all of us and he believes that the city will prevail in spite of any attempts to get in its way. I suspect it’s the prospect of getting rid of us soon enough that makes him smarter by the minute.

 

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