NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A day after the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted the progress the World Trade Center site — and all of Lower Manhattan — has made in 12 years, but warned of future terror threats.
When Bloomberg took office in January 2002, the World Trade Center site was still smoldering and there was doubt the city could recover. He says now the era of “post-9/11 uncertainty” is over.
“The time has come to recognize that our city has emerged from the shadow of 9/11 stronger than ever, and that we have entered a new era,” Bloomberg said. “It is an era that is not defined by 9/11 anymore, or the questions that followed it, or anything else in our past. It is defined by our hopes for the future – and by the extraordinary promise of a city that is, more than ever, the global capital of freedom and opportunity.”
Bloomberg said lower Manhattan has transformed into a place where “people come and work and live and enjoy and remember,” 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
WEB EXTRA: Read The Mayor’s Entire Speech (pdf)
The population of downtown has tripled since 2001, the area is home to hotels, schools and parks and both the 9/11 museum and One World Trade Center are set to open next year, Bloomberg said.
“I think it’s fair to say we’ve laid the groundwork for success,” Bloomberg said, but he cautioned that the city could not afford to grow complacent in protecting itself.
“The threat we continue to face is not abstract and it is not going away,” he said. “The day that we believe our progress is inevitable, the day that we take our security for granted, the day we believe the past cannot repeat itself, is the day those questions will return.”
Bloomberg was speaking to the Downtown Alliance, which manages the area’s Business Improvement District.
The speech was meant to burnish Bloomberg’s legacy as the mayor’s term in office expires at year’s end. He has become the unofficial caretaker of Sept. 11’s aftermath, overseeing every memorial service and serving as chairman of the museum. He lent the institution $15 million earlier this year to cover operating expenses.
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