My 9/11: Damage and Rehabilitation

September 8, 2011 2:26 PM

An injured firefighter is brought in for treatment at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York following the collapse of both World Trade Center towers Tuesday, September 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

After watching the second plane hit the World Trade Center live on TV, I decided to go to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Doctors were standing on the street waiting for the injured to arrive. But the only people who came were exhausted firefighters who had suffered smoke inhalation. I visited those firemen in their hospital rooms. I later learned that few casualties were brought to St. Vincent’s because most of those who died when the two buildings collapsed were incinerated.

The downtown area suffered economically for an extended period of time. People were reluctant to return out of fear of terrorism, and others had environmental concerns. A host of federal, state and local government programs were put in place to encourage people to return to the area and businesses to remain and reopen. New residences and businesses were also created. I believe it all worked.

New York City is a true miracle. Why? Because of the resilience of its people who come from every state in the union and every country in the world. May God Bless America. May God Bless New York City.

Edward Irving Koch served three terms as the mayor of New York City, from 1978 to 1989. From 1969 to 1977, he was part of the New York delegation to the United States House of Representatives. Prior to that, he served two years as a member of the New York City Council.

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