John and daughter Marie 1987
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Letters to the Editor:
September 10, 2002
Of all the networks, affiliates and syndicates pumping television into my home, only A&E got it right.
On the eve of the first anniversary of the greatest American tragedy of our lifetime, A&E ran a special on Bruce Springsteen.
CNN, ABC, FOX et al. went to every extreme to tear the soft scab off our national wound with their retrospectives on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Fatherless children, husbandless wives, daughterless parents, every horrific, heart-wrenching, in-depth profile hit us in the media's misguided attempt to put 9/11 "in perspective."
The media should have given Americans more credit for our ability to mourn and cope.  And they certainly should have had a better handle on the pulse of the public.
Embodied by the people of the city hit hardest by 9/11, our national survivalist resiliency manifest itself as NYC started to heal sometime this past summer.
I can't put my finger on a date, but sometime in late June, maybe early July, New Yorkers stopped looking down.
Every native New Yorker I know, wherever he now lives, made a pilgrimage to Manhattan in the past year. Those who went right away found a city in shock-- 12 million terrified, grief-stricken people with no direction, no desire, no hope.
Despair and mourning permeated the City from the top of the Empire State Building to the bottom of Ground Zero.
As Christmas neared, New Yorkers put on a happy face, or tried, for the children, and for themselves.  New York gave itself permission, for the first time, to feel good.
But as winter took hold, 12 million people knew exactly what shoes they were wearing.  They knew every crack in the sidewalk, every curb and every driveway.  The NY Metropolitan area walked around for five months with its collective head down.
And then the mood began to change.
Sixty-three NY police and firefighter families included visibly expectant mothers who would soon bear the WTC baby boom.
Trees turned green and people actually looked up to see the new life.
NYC formally ended the excavation of Ground Zero.
The City's unspoken motto became, "we will survive, and flourish."
While New Yorkers, and all Americans, were starting to find reasons to live again, one American musician absorbed our spirit of "hope regained" and put it on a CD.
"The Rising," released this past summer by Bruce Springsteen, is about a city and a nation rebounding.  He hit the nail squarely on the head.
Our spirits are already rising.  We didn't need the media's self-serving commemorative week of catastrophe coverage.
And of all the media out there, only A&E understood this.  So instead of bringing back the pain, tears and fear, they furthered the healing via the Bruce Sprinsteen alternative.
John D'Angelo