Police heightened security in New York on Friday in response to a credible but unconfirmed threat of an Al-Qaeda plot to attack the city again on the anniversary of the downing of the World Trade Center towers by hijacked airplanes.
In Manhattan, police set up impromptu check points and searched vehicles, but New York residents took the security alerts in their stride as a normal part of their life.
Ahead of Sunday’s commemorative ceremonies at Ground Zero, there are signs that some New Yorkers are tired of it all.
Don’t call it Ground Zero, don’t use the term 9/11 widow and don’t read the names of the dead, they say.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants people to stop calling the place where the Twin Towers once stood “Ground Zero,” a term which implies violence on a large scale.
The new One World Trade Center skyscraper towers more than 80 stories above ground as it inches to its planned 1,776 foot height — symbolic of the date of America’s independence.
The memorial plaza has enjoyed a revival making it a trendy Manhattan place to live.
Some of those most devastated by the attacks no longer wish to be defined by it. Among them is Kristen Breitweiser, who became a widow, activist and author after her husband died when hijacked planes slammed into the Twin Towers.
“I don’t identify myself as a widow anymore. I’m a single mother,” Breitweiser, author of the 2006 book Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow, told Reuters.
Sunday’s ceremony includes moments of silence marking when hijacked passenger planes hit the Twin Towers as well as when they collapsed. There will also be moments of silence marking when hijacked planes crashed into the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Over the past 10 years there have been many New York plots — some aspirational, such as one to blow up subways and another to explode a pipeline near John F. Kennedy International Airport and others more visible near-misses such as the failed car bomb attempt in Times Square in 2010.