Friday, September 9, 2011

I AM a New Yorker!

I am certain that for the rest of my life I will remember where I was, how I felt, and being glued to the news for 37 hours on September 11th, 2011... I will never forget the first time I crossed a bridge and looked to my skyline in hopes that it wasn't true and that the towers would still be there and seeing smoke in their place.  I will always remember the oxymoron of heart break and simultaneous pride for our tenacity in seeing the light beams commemorating the WTC.  I will always cherish the days when everyone was a little more courteous to one another walking the streets... especially if you were below Canal.  I will always cringe at remembering the eerie silence surrounding every aspect of Ground Zero for almost a year afterward.  Above all, however, I will never forget what it felt like to show the world that New Yorkers can naturally pull together and put their heart into it when it counts.  I was never more proud to say that I am a New Yorker than I was after that experience.

Whether you lost a loved one, a part of your city, or a piece of your heart, that day will live in our hearts forever...

It's oddly comforting that I am in my true home this weekend on this monumental anniversary. (Though it's incredibly unsettling to be getting on planes.)  I am grateful to be in a city that will have moments of silence on the radio for all the specific times of that horrible day because my new home won't.  I am remembering... I will always be remembering... and I will always find comfort in this blog post.

Below you will find a poem that I cannot take credit for and unforunately don't know who wrote it.  It does an incredible job, however, of capturing that time and those emotions and is my favorite way of remembering.  <3 Never Forget <3


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I am a New Yorker

I may not live in the five boroughs or on the Island or Upstate
I may live hundreds or thousands of miles away
Or I may live just over the GW Bridge
But I am a New Yorker

I am a New Yorker
Whatever took me out of New York:
Business, family or hating the cold did not take New York out of me.
My accent may have faded and my pace may have slowed
But I am a New Yorker

I am a New Yorker
I was raised on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Plaza,
The Yankees or the Mets
Jones Beach or Rye Beach or one of the beaches on the sound
I know that "THE END" means Montauk.
Because I am a New Yorker

I am a New Yorker
When I go on vacation, I never look up
Skyscrapers are something I take for granted
The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are part of me
Taxis and noise and subways and "get outa heah" don't rattle me
Because I am a New Yorker

I am a New Yorker
I was raised on cultural diversity before it was politically correct
I eat Greek food and Italian food, Jewish and Middle Eastern food and Chinese food
Because they are all American food to me.
I don't get mad when people speak other languages in my presence
Because my relatives got to this country via Ellis Island and chose to stay
They were New Yorkers

I am a New Yorker
People who have never been to New York have misunderstood me
My friends and family work in the industries, professions and businesses that benefit all Americans
My firefighters died trying to save New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers
They died trying to save Americans and non-Americans
Because they were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker
I feel the pain of my fellow New Yorkers
I mourn the loss of my beautiful city
I feel and dread that New York will never be the same
But then I remember:
I am a New Yorker

And New Yorkers have:
Tenacity, strength and courage way above the norm
Compassion and caring for our fellow citizens
Love and pride in our city, in our state, in our country
Intelligence, experience and education par excellence
Ability, dedication and energy above and beyond
Faith--no matter what religion we practice

Terrorists hit America in its heart
But America's heart still beats strong
Demolish the steel in our buildings, but it doesn't touch the steel in our souls
Hit us in the pocketbook; but we'll parlay what we have left into a fortune
End innocent lives leaving widows and orphans, but we'll take care of them
Because they are New Yorkers

Wherever we live, whatever we do, whoever we are
There are New Yorkers in every state and every city of this nation
We will not abandon our city
We will not abandon our brothers and sisters
We will not abandon the beauty, creativity and diversity that New York represents
Because we are New Yorkers
And we are proud to be New Yorkers

UNITED WE STAND – DIVIDED WE FALL
September 11th ~ Always in Our Hearts



2 comments:

  1. I'm a Bostonian, and have loved the Boston/New York rivalry for nearly 50 years...but I too had all of my great grandparents come to our wonderful country through Ellis Island. Many settled in New York, some for their whole lives, and some for their first years in America (before moving North just a few hundred miles). Today, I remember my ancestors and this great city, and proudly say that for this day I too am a New Yorker!

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  2. Thanks for sharing!! I can put our rivalry aside for the day too and appreciate that. :)

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