Updated 09/06/2011 11:58 PM
Mayor Touts Downtown's Resilience In Years Following Attacks
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Citing its abundance of hotels, businesses and schools, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday outlined how Lower Manhattan has come back to life in the 10 years since the September 11th attacks.
Bloomberg spoke before the Association for a Better New York Breakfast, focusing on the rebuilding efforts since September 11, 2001.
The mayor highlighted a number of businesses located in Lower Manhattan before the attacks, including Century 21, and how they have rebounded in the last decade.
"As we look back on the past decade and as the picture of what has happened here comes into sharper focus, I believe the rebirth and revitalization of Lower Manhattan will be remembered as one of the greatest comeback stories in American history," said Bloomberg. "And I believe it will stand as our greatest moment to those we lost on 9/11 and to our unshakable faith in the moral imperative of protecting and preserving a free, open, democratic society."
Bloomberg said since the attacks, more people have moved into Lower Manhattan than a number of the most popular cities across the nation.
He stressed that on Sunday, the tenth anniversary of attacks, the city should not forget the devastation but also reflect, remember the victims, first responders and come together as a city.
Left unsaid though were some challenges, like attracting new tenants for the office towers being built. There was also no direct mention of the planned Islamic center which the mayor supports.
"We honor our nation's founding ideals, and all those who have fought and died under our flag, by ensuring that our freedoms can be fully and equally expressed by everyone," Bloomberg said.
Meanwhile, observers say it wasn't until the end of Bloomberg's second term that he used his influence to make progress in the area.
Developer Larry Silverstein says the turnaround came three years ago when Bloomberg pushed him and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to work together, amid a vacuum of power from Albany.
"In the last analysis, he turned what was a national disgrace into something that we can all take national pride in," Silverstein said.
While the Downtown area is booming, there are still worries about the ongoing effects of the economy.
"We need a strong, vibrant national economy - strong in Washington in creating jobs - to ensure that the office space Downtown gets built," said Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward.
Bloomberg says he won't run again after his term expires in 2013.
When asked about Manhattan's future, the mayor said the city will be well served by following the lessons of the last decade.