I am a New Yorker

Date Submitted: 09/09/2002
Author Info: Christopher (Carmel, IN - USA) 
Occupation: Engineering
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

September 1, 2001.

This was a day that changed my life forever. As the events unfolded before me, I was in total shock. My career has spans nearly 20 years in Aviation, maintaining aircraft for safe flight, I never thought I would see OUR Aircraft used as weapons against MY PEOPLE, MY HOME TOWN, MY AIRLINE…………..I felt helpless, I could only sit and watch and listen here from Indiana. Being a native New Yorker and growing up in the city, my heart broke that day. Being an Air Force Veteran I knew we would respond in a “BiG” way. A few days later I received an email from a family member living in New York . The email had good news that immediate family went unharmed but my “extended” family would be affected by this tragedy. Included in the email was a poem called “I am A New Yorker” (author unknown).

After I read it I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder, because the message it sent was true………I would like to share it with all of you.


I am a New Yorker.
I do not live in the five boroughs or on the Island or Upstate.
I May live hundreds or thousands of miles away
Or I may live just over the GW bridge
But I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker
Whatever took me out of New York:
Business, family or hating the cold
Did not take New York out of me.
My accent may have faded and my pace may have slowed,
But I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
I was raised on Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Plaza,
The Yankees or the Mets
Jones Beach or Rye Beach or one of the beaches on the sound.
I know that “The End” means Montauk,
Because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
When I go on vacation, I never look up
Skyscrapers are something I take for granted.
The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are a part of me.
Taxis and noise and subways and “get outa heah” don’t rattle me,
Because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
I was raised on cultural diversity before it was politically correct.
I eat Greek food and Italian food, Jewish and Middle Eastern food and Chinese food,
Because they are all American food to me.
I don’t get mad when people speak other languages in my presence,
Because my relatives got to this country via Ellis Island and chose to stay,
They were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker.
People who have never been to New York have misunderstood me.
My friends and family work in the industries, professions and businesses that benefit all Americans.
My firefighters died trying to save New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers
They died trying to save Americans and non-Americans,
Because they were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker.
I feel the pain of my fellow New Yorkers.
I mourn the loss of my beautiful city.
I feel and dread that New York will never be the same,
But then I remember:
I am a New Yorker

And New Yorkers have:
Tenacity, strength and courage way above the norm.
Compassion and caring for our fellow citizens
Love and pride I our city, in our state, in our country.
Intelligence, experience and education par excellence.
Ability, dedication and energy above and beyond,
Faith- no matter what religion we practice.

Terrorists hit America in its heart,
But America’s heart is still beats strong.
Demolish the steel in our buildings, but it doesn’t touch the steel in our souls.
Hit us in the pocketbook; but we’ll parlay what we have left into a fortune.
End innocent lives leaving widows and orphans, but we’ll take care of them,
Because they are New Yorkers.

Wherever we live, whatever we do, whoever we are,
There are New Yorkers in every state and every city in this nation.
We will not abandon our city,
We will not abandon our brothers and sisters,
We will not abandon the beauty, creativity and diversity that New Yorkers represent,
Because we are New Yorkers, and proud to be New Yorkers!
Always Remember the World Trade Center and September 11, 2001.


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