Remember what outsiders thought of New York City before 9/11? Huge, overcrowded, dirty and dangerous, rife with crime and violence. John Carpenter's Escape from New York slyly played Manhatten as a prison full of violent psychopaths, and that was only a slight exaggeration of the way the city was seen.
Ten years ago today, catastrophe struck the city of New York, and you know what we saw? We saw New Yorkers run toward Hell on Earth, to fight to save what lives they could. We saw street-level video I will never forget of the cloud exploding up a street toward the view in a terrifying wave-front, people running in terror, and ordinary citizens, not cops or firemen or other rescue personnel, racing to grab them from the streets, including the woman with the camera, and pull them indoors to safety. In the face of danger and catastrophe, we saw New Yorkers' first instinct: To help one another, to save one another.
Before 9/11, New York City looked from the outside like a city of sin, a city of filth, a city of crime and violence and decay. How wrong we were. 9/11 showed us.
New York City is the City of Heroes.