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New York's Message to the Enemies of Freedom
Jim Cassidy

November reminds us of many happy moments including Halloween and Thanksgiving. But for we veterans it is also a solemn time as we remember Veterans Day, November 11, and what it means to America ... all the sacrifices of thousands of men and women over the years who have protected our freedoms and way of life.

We now know that because of this new type of warfare, terrorists of freedom are everywhere, even among us. So we must remain ever vigilant and alert to anything unusual that is happening around us, even in our own schools, and report it to the authorities.

It is a sad commentary on how the world has evolved since 9/11, which resulted in the terrible slaughter of 3,000 innocents in and around the World Trade Center, and how it has affected New York’s citizens.

 But a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Rich Daigle, gives us a different perspective on today’s New York and tells us of a feeling of hope and how this great city has rebounded from that tragic day.

 “New York is a city renowned for 24/7 energy, straightforward sass and a night-life personality that has drawn visitors from around the globe for decades.  But after that fateful day in September 2001, the party lights dimmed as smoke rose from the rubble, distressing a multi-billion dollar tourism industry.  Five years later, that industry is buzzing like never before.

 “ ‘We are fortunate that this year New York City is set to welcome a record-breaking 43 million visitors, with 7 million of those coming from foreign countries,’ said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s marketing and tourism organization.  International visitation now exceeds pre-9/11 levels.  Foreign visitors make up only 18 percent of New York’s tourism traffic, but they represent almost half the spending because they tend to stay longer and spend more.

 “A trip to New York offers lifetime memories, especially in the post-9/11 world, where a simple vacation can act as a thumb of the nose to terrorists who want us to stay home and live in fear.  That was my sentiment when I took my teenage daughters to the Big Apple in July.  We spent three nights in Times Square, saw two great Broadway plays, viewed the Statue of Liberty from a speedboat, and took a Grayline double-decker bus tour.  We walked block after block and never once felt unsafe; crime rates are the lowest in decades.  We got lost a few times, but that didn’t matter.

 “I wanted my girls to see the bright lights of Times Square, the vaunted New York skylines, and the bustling sidewalks around Macy’s and other shopping areas.  I particularly wanted them to see the naked air in lower Manhattan once occupied by the magnificent twin towers of the World Trade Center.  When they are older and 9/11 comes up in conversation, they will be able to say, ‘I saw the World Trade Center site in 2006.’  The echoes of that terrible day in our nation’s history will now be a part of my girls’ own personal American history.

 “Some say New Yorkers are a kinder, gentler lot since the tragedy.  I couldn’t really tell one way or another, but I can say the spirit of New York - that endearing, gruff, witty, passionate voice that echoes above the streets and into the air where tragedy struck five years ago - is something to experience today, at a time and in a place where vacation history can still be made.”

 So - during this busy holiday season, visit the greatest city in the world, that glittering white way, appreciate the festive decorations, the shows on Broadway, and the people’s determination and will to survive.

 And remember as New Yorker’s do ... that freedom and liberty will survive over the evils of injustice.  

Jim is Vice-Commander of American Legion Post #219. He served as a combat infantryman in WWII, fighting in France and Germany with the 70th Infantry Division. Jim Cassidy was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. You can email him with questions or comments at: Cassperryst@aol.com

 *Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The November, 2006 Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly Publication.
All Contents (C) 2006
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