With the buzz of construction at the World Trade Center site reverberating in the background, Mayor Bloomberg took to the stage Monday to tell New Yorkers that the city is looking to the future, and hasn't lost its resolve.
The construction you see here is a rebuke to all of those who seek to destroy our freedoms and liberties,” Bloomberg said.
A rebuke more specifically to Osama bin Laden, the fallen leader of al Qaeda, the terror group carried out the Sept.11 attacks that killed nearly three thousand people.
“Osama bin Laden is dead, and New York City's spirit has never been stronger,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor says the city is following through on its promise to rebuild Lower Manhattan, a promise that hasn't proven easy to fulfill. There are, however, visible signs of progress.
The city and state have been under a tight deadline, trying to finish as much construction as possible at the World Trade Center site, in time for the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
“The World Trade Center site is rising,” said Christopher Ward of the Port Authority of NY and NJ. “It is no longer a pit.”
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and others, are casting the news in sweeping historic terms.
“This would be like defeating and taking out a Hitler or a Stalin,” Giuliani said. “It will have a big impact long term. But short-term there are people who are going to want to do damage to us.”
Former Mayor David Dinkins sees an added benefit for President Obama, who ordered the attack on bin Laden.
“I think it can only help him,” Dinkins said. “It will certainly boost his ratings. But that's not why this is important.”
For some the death of bin Laden was simply a moment of justice and a way to show the world that America's resolve is strong.
We've been fighting terrorism for the last decade,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said. “We need to have this success.”
A success celebrated across America, but felt, perhaps, most deeply here in New York.