By John Slattery

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New Yorkers aren’t letting the terror threat stop them from honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Friday night, smaller remembrances took place across the city.

Hand in hand as a sign of solidarity, members of all faiths joined together at the Interchurch Center on the Upper West Side to share stories of hope and resilience.

LINK: 13 N.Y., N.J. Sept. 11 Memorial Events

CBSNewYork Special Report: Remembering 9/11/01: 10 Years Later

In the weeks and months after Sept. 11, New Yorkers made eye contact, smiled, touched and hugged complete strangers.  So many different faiths, ethnicities and ages came together.

Ten years later, the spirit of togetherness lives on as Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders led prayers on Friday night for continued healing.  The event was hosted by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who called on people to “hold each other’s hearts and hands together.”

It is the strength from that kind of communal bond that has helped many victim’s family members. Some shared their stories Friday night.  Tahira Kahn lost her son.

“When you lose a child, you lose your hope, your dreams and desires.  And I lost my soul,” she told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

But for many others, like Mary Ellen Salamone, who lost her husband on 9/11, they are finding hope for brighter tomorrows in choosing no other option.

“I’ve lived on the other side of hate and I assure you, peace is a better alternative,” she said.

Outside St. Paul’s Chapel near ground zero, ribbons adorn the iron fence, with messages of hope. Across the street, in a landmark building on Broadway, the tragedy of 9/11 is displayed in hundreds of photos.

“About 600 photographs that were taken from the over 6,500 photographs that were collected originally by Mark Lubell, who was the individual who first came up with the concept,” exhibit director Simone Levinson told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

The exhibit will continue until Sept. 18.

Photo Exhibit (credit: CBS 2)

Behind the main Library, the lawn of Bryant Park was transformed into a memorial — 2,753 empty chairs to honor the victims. They faced to the south, toward the World Trade Center site.

Bryant Park memorial (credit: CBS 2)

Also, there’s a typing project of remembrances.

“We’re asking people what they would like the world to remember about 9/11,” project volunteer Chad Ryan said.

Typing Project (credit: CBS 2)

On Queens Boulevard at 65th, outside Fire Department Rescue 4, the street was co-named “Boulevard of Bravery” for 15 firefighters lost from the firehouse — nine of them on 9/11.

One of the victims from that firehouse was Lt. Kevin Dowdell. Slattery spoke with his sister, Gloria McAvoy.

Street naming ceremony (credit: CBS 2)

“These men deserve this honor, and I’m just glad to be here to see it,” she said.

All around there are strong remembrances of the losses felt by thousands of family members in a city still recovering.

Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  1. Marc D says:

    The NYC Labor Day Parade. Saturday Sept 10th from 11 Am till 2 PM Marching up 5th Ave from 43rd Street till 68th Street. All New Yorkers are welcome to join us as we celebrate the American workforce and honor all that we lost 10 years ago at the World Trade Center. Come out to support your friends and neighbors. Its free Its fun and it will show everyone what solidarity is all about. To all my brothers and sisters of the labor movement show up stand up and be counted. We will not be silent.

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