Fifteen years ago, New York City was ravaged by terrorists. As the legendary Twin Towers went up in smoke, burned and collapsed, our citizens instinctively and fearlessly went to work. Firefighters, police officers and bystanders sacrificed their own lives to help those who were trapped in the Towers. Their selfless actions and bravery will forever remain ingrained in the history of our country. Growing up on Long Island, I personally knew many people who lost loved ones on this tragic day, and their families never recovered from the immense loss.
In the years following the attacks, New York tirelessly worked to not only commemorate the lost lives of 9/11, but to rebuild the city itself. Our nation could have collapsed alongside the Towers, but that is not the American way. The American way is one that thrives off of strength and resilience, and that's what we used to propel us through the attacks and their aftermath.
In 2014, NYC opened the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The museum, which features 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts, 500 hours of moving images and 1,970 oral histories, is just one of the ways in which we have attempted to recover.
In addition to the museum, NYC's iconic skyline has undergone a metamorphosis. A recent article from USA Today stated that, "In the decade and a half since the Twin Towers fell, 15 of Manhattan’s 35 tallest skyscrapers have been built. And others will soon join them." If that statistic doesn't make you stop in your tracks, then I don't know what will. Even with the devastation and loss that we suffered on 9/11, nearly half of the city's tallest skyscrapers have been built in the 15 years following the event. To me, that is incredible.
The most breathtaking component of this fact is not the skyscrapers themselves, but rather the message that stands behind them- - Americans are strong and in times of trouble, we unite and triumph. This is the fact that we need to continue to publicize. We truly are the greatest country in the world and we are all blessed to live here.
The restoration of the city's skyline illustrates the unwavering hope that Americans have for their home. It is a clear testimony to our power as a nation, as well as our love for and belief in our values. May the skyscrapers stand tall and forever reflect the pride that we have for our great country.