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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

New York! New York!

Unaware of global realities, the average New Yorker confronted the tragedy intellectually disarmed

New York! New York!
New York! New York!
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Vast, unspeakable show and lesson," the self-appointed American bard, Walt Whitman, remarked of his beloved New York, as he catalogued its "hurrying human tides.... Curious questioning glances—glints of love". I thought of that, and much more, as I sat in London watching the television news on September 11, 2001.

I was born and raised in New York, and though I left America years ago, I still have family and friends there. Inevitably, anxieties and memories hung heavily in the air as the eerily crystalline images beamed into my home from across the Atlantic. In this I was hardly alone. New York has long been a world city, indeed the prototype of the teeming cosmopolises now found on every continent. I was only one of the many millions scattered around the globe who felt some personal link to the unfolding horror.

For me, the first meaning of September 11 was and remains simple. It was a soul-quaking reminder of both the preciousness and the interdependence of all human life. For a brief moment, in New York itself, that meaning seems to have floated in the wind with the...

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