, Salem, MA

Special Report

August 25, 2011

10 years after 9/11, New York residents reflect

Life in city has been forever changed



I think it's subtle though, and it's rare that I notice it day to day. It's more in the kind of glance that you'll give to any other New Yorkers in the room when the subject comes up, that you, and they, know what it was like.


Morningside Heights, Manhattan -- Researcher

What are your memories of that day?

It was simply incomprehensible. The smell of the burning, collapsed buildings just lingered on … There was literally no way not to think about the attacks, at all times, for weeks afterward, as the smell was an ever-present reminder. Life seemed paused. Schools were closed. Businesses were closed. All you could do was visit the makeshift memorials.

How has the city changed since Sept. 11?

Everything that seemed so different and permanent in the aftermath of the attacks has become routine and has reverted to the way it was before.  I think it’s kind of the same for the fire and police departments, even. It seemed like we would become a friendlier, more helpful, cohesive city after the attacks, but that didn't take long to revert, either. The city has definitely changed, but I don't know how much has to do with 9/11.


Sugar Hill, Manhattan -- Information Technology

What do you remember from Sept. 11?

I woke up late that morning — around 10:30. I remember panicking because my mother worked in Tower 7. I was very upset until we heard from her around 2. She had been late to work that day and her train stopped in the tunnel after the first attack. Once my family was accounted for, I tried to go help at ground zero, but they were turning away volunteers by then.

[Ed: The original 7 World Trade Center building was located across from the twin towers and destroyed in terrorists attacks; the current 7 World Trade Center opened in 2006.]

How has the city changed since 9/11?

It's hard to remember what NYC was like before 9/11. It seems normal now to have cops with assault rifles on guard duty, K-9 teams in Time Square, and “If You See Something, Say Something.” signs in the subway. I think we all take the threat that we live under more seriously.

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