There's No Place Like New York

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It's 1:08 a.m. and I should really be asleep considering that I have to be at work at 9 a.m.. However, I looked at my calendar and realized that it's my turn to write a blog. The question is: what could I write about that would make our visitors want to read? Well, I will share with you the details about my recent trip to NYC. I went with my nieces, Vanessa and Gannel, it was their first time in the Big Apple and they loved it! It was also an important trip being that we were there for the fifth anniversary of 9/11 which I had the opportunity to cover for Good Morning Arizona and Good Evening Arizona. It was a time to reflect and remember the thousands of innocent men and women who died in the attacks. I really wanted my nieces to see Ground Zero and for them to learn more about this sad chapter in our nation's history; I believe they did. Vanessa said she felt a knot in her throat the moment she saw the photographs placed on a portion of the chain-link fence that surrounds Ground Zero. They are photographs that were taken the day of the attacks and are now part of a temporary memorial. Gannel was stunned by the size of Ground Zero; she feels television simply doesn't do it justice.

I was there about a week after the attacks happened and was incredibly shocked and heartbroken when I saw the massive devastation up close. Nothing can prepare you for something like that and it was, without a doubt, an experience that forever changed my life. I have been back to NYC several times since then but on this particular trip it was very difficult to see that five years later, Ground Zero remains this giant hole in the center of Lower Manhattan (I believe the site is about 16 acres in size). How can it be that five years after the attacks the thousands of families still don't have a place to go where they can mourn their loved ones? Although there are many makeshift memorials, some of the victims' families I spoke with told me it's not the same. Hopefully those involved in the planning for what will be the new World Trade Center and the Freedom Tower will soon put their differences aside so the construction can finally begin. What did my nieces take away from this experience? That we should never, ever forget what happened on 9/11/01.

The girls and I did get to see many other parts of New York during our visit. After all, there is no place like the Big Apple! It's a city I've visited countless times and one that I fall deeper in love with during every single visit! It's the people, the food, the energy! Who says New Yorkers are mean? There is no doubt that every single time I visit New York, I always have a reason to return. ALWAYS! This time is no exception!

All my love,
Con MUCHO amor,

Claudia Rivero