A year ago today, New York, the city that never sleeps, awoke to find its skyline forever changed.

The anniversary of New York's darkest day comes with remorse for those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, and optimism for what may become of the city. Today's memorial will affect every aspect of the city. Flights will be limited. The New York Stock Exchange will delay its opening and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani will read the names of the 2,823 victims. A single mother from Seattle has organized 1,300 people to fly planes in formation across the country to New York in honor of the victims.

Tony Costello, a Ball State architecture professor born in New York, said that the nation got to see the city in a new light.

"One of the interesting things about New York that 9/11 did, and it's a shame it took such a tragedy, but I think the nation got to see a different side of the city that probably had always been thought of as being impersonal, and very hostile," Costello said.

New York is a city that accepts ethnic diversity through the immigration of people across seas. Costello said the city has such strong diversity that it is comparable to the very homelands of different ethnicities.

"It was a city that was amazingly rich in its ethnicity," Costello said. "Literally if you went to Little Italy, you close your eyes, you would think you were in Italy."

The city's neighborhoods were built around the center being a religious icon, Costello said.

"I think New York has always been a city that obviously, with the Statue of Liberty being the image, has welcomed literally the world. That strength has always probably been what's made it unique."

New York had been known to America as the center of the economy. With Wall Street, Times Square and all the companies associated with the area, the city projects an image of wealth.

"New York does not sleep," Costello said. "Amazingly there is a mini rush-hour around 11 o' clock when an incredible army of cleaning and maintenance people come in. It's a city that essentially never, never sleeps.

"It's a city that has always prided itself on being the economic capital of not only the United States but the world. There's been a lot written that obviously the World Trade Center stood for that. It was literally a physical symbol of an incredible kind of business engine."

Until September 11, the Twin Towers stood tall as an icon for New York.

Freshman Chris Esposito came to Ball State University from New York City this year, and lived through the tragedy. Esposito said everything was normal previous to Sept. 11. People went to school or work and kept to themselves.

Esposito went to a small high school in New York about four miles away from the attacks. He found out about the attacks from a couple of friends after class that morning.

"We were all in shock a little bit," Esposito said. "And we were upset that somebody would do that."

The effect of the attacks were different from person to person.

"My initial reaction, like I think most Americans' were, and certainly amplified by being a New Yorker, was one of disbelief," Costello said. "Being an architect, probably added to the level of disbelief. I remember when those buildings were built. And to see those totally collapse, literally just pancake entirely to the ground, was almost beyond comprehension. It almost defied logic or common sense that that could actually happen to a building."

Sept. 11 signified a change for New York emotionally, in everyday life and work. The people of New York began to talk differently about subjects, and do different things.

"I think people started respecting each other more, like an unspoken kind of thing," Esposito said. "You know other people went through this too, so they know how you feel."

People began to show more emotion and come together as a whole.

"The outpouring of citizens just out of respect for the number of firefighters killed was really amazing," Costello said. "I think it brought the city together, much the way a Pearl Harbor brought the country together. But that's a shame it takes that kind of an incident to bring our country together."

The show of support was seen throughout the streets of New York. Costello said that floral arrangements at all the fire stations got to him the most. The pictures of all the missing family members at Ground Zero and the money brought in through donations for children and victims have been beyond belief.

"Knowing what was there, the magnitude of the size of the hole, and of the destruction was very, very overwhelming," Costello said. "I knew it intellectually but to go there and realize how much had been demolished was very staggering."

Esposito made a trip to Ground Zero four or five months ago before coming to school.

"I didn't really want to go there because of what it meant," Esposito said. "I guess it's sort of a burial ground now. I just had this eerie feeling when I went there."

The population reacted strongly giving money, food, blood and support to families of victims after Sept. 11. The Sept. 11 Scholarship Alliance raised more than $90 million for scholarships alone. For the Mental Health Association of New York City, Inc., $80,000 was raised. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City received $50,000 in support and many other organizations received the same type of donations.

"I have always had great pride in being a New Yorker," Costello said. "I think for me there was a sense of pride in seeing the way the city reacted. I like the fact that New Yorkers are very upfront and always honest with people."

Sept. 11, 2001 not only took lives, but scared people emotionally to the point where it may never heal. People of New York, as well as the country, have shown compassion for all the victims of the tragic attacks a year ago, showing America something people have never realized comes from the city.

"I think now people realize that New York, like every city, has people in it that are pretty amazing," Costello said.

"It's a shame sometimes that it takes tragedy to bring out how fantastic people are. I think the nation got a look at the city in a whole different way."


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