Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2003 / 18 Elul, 5763

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Score one for the good guys | Two years after New York City was attacked from the sky and became the frontline for the war on terror, I walked around the city to check on its progress.

Osama bin Laden and the 19 terrorists who murdered 3,000 New Yorkers two years ago had one goal in mind: to terrorize Americans. And judging by what I saw today while walking down Manhattan's 7th avenue, I have got to report back to you that New Yorkers just didn't get his message.

All I saw across the city were the smiling faces of children, who were holding hands while racing toward a midtown museum, while an Asian teenager wearing a shirt that said "I love New York" looked up at the lights of Times Square in wonder.

I saw rabbis, baby strollers, jazz bands and tourists with American flags that were plastered on their caps and bags and over their hearts. And I saw young professional women on their way to lunch waving excitedly at a passing fire truck, like it was being driven by an assortment of rock stars. Everywhere smiles, smiles adding light to the sidewalk cafes that were already lit up by the September sun.

And what diversity I saw. Now, I know diversity is a code word that separates some liberals from conservatives. But, today, walking down 7th Avenue, with the sun hitting my face and the wind at my back, Asians, Arabs, blacks, whites, Jews, African immigrants, Hispanics, and people from all over G-d's green earth were walking together, eating side by side, and laughing at each other's jokes.

If Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda thought they could terrorize Americans out of living their lives to the fullest, they simply misread this country's backbone. Score one for the good guys. And score one for New York City.

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