Lower Manhattan Continues to Thrive

9-11Lower Manhattan has encountered substantial changes during the decade-and-a-half following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which saw the loss of 2, 753 lives.  According to a recent State Attorney General Report released by Thomas P. DiNapoli (New York State Comptroller) what happened after the attacks that resulted in an “unspeakable tragedy, ” was that partnerships emerged “between the local community, government, and the private and not-for-profit sectors — that made Lower Manhattan’s renaissance possible.”  Today the area has earned itself a reputation for having “a diversified employment base and strong annual job growth.”  He added that “Lower Manhattan is doing more than rebuilding, it is transforming and moving forward with resilience and hope.”

In commemoration of the day, a memorial procession was led by the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums.  Participants included Mayor de Blasio and Bill Bratton (who is leaving his post as Police Commissioner).  They marched from Cedar Street to the NYC Police Memorial in Battery Park City, down Broadway. They were joined by police bands nationwide.

And then there is the Irish Pub O’Haras.  Owned by Mike Keane, this has become a kind of shrine to the tragedy.  At the time of the event, co-owner of the pub Mike Keane watched the first tower fall from the bar’s roof.  He managed to get to safety but the bar was badly damaged and at its reopening seven months thereafter, it was transformed into “a haven for locals and Ground Zero workers.” The next year, a gathering was held at the pub in which Big John (a construction worker) ripped off a patch from a fireman’s uniform, stapling it to the wall which thereafter became a tradition.  Today there are over a thousand patches from various ambulance services, fire departments and more around the world, at the pub.  Indeed one day they even received a framed frag flown over from the Pentagon in the mail.  Another owner of the Irish Pub, Paul Mackin explained ““We get locals in their p.j.s, sometimes, because they can’t sleep.”  He himself was “changed” following 9/11 and now each weekend meets people “who come in here from all over the world. They enter as strangers and leave as friends.”

Yes, a lot has changed in downtown Manhattan over the last decade-and-a-half with some incredible developments and transformations in the region.  But 9/11 will never be forgotten and no matter how different the city may look, for those people who had a direct connection to it, things will always stay the same.

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