Last weekend my husband and I went for our usual stroll in Central Park, before we fled to the shelter of a nearby restaurant since the weather wasn’t particularly nice. On our way back to New Jersey, we went through Times Square.
A few hours later in that same spot, the crowd was evacuated after two vendors alerted the police that a parked Nissan Pathfinder was filling with smoke and emitting sparks and popping sounds.
The bomb scare in Times Square – A crude reminder of September 11th.
Even though I was on the other side of the Atlantic during the September 11 attack, I can still recollect the exact things I was doing when I heard about the news. At first I thought it was a sick internet hoax – a weird joke from someone with a macabre sense of humor.
In my naivety I associated bomb explosions and terrorism with the Middle East, maybe the Northern Ireland of some years earlier, some remote country in Africa, but never America, never New York. I thought of New York and The Twin Towers as an untouchable, secure oasis of the western world.
Then the news slowly sank in, and for months on end, I became another individual who watched as the world stood still, and the threat of that crazy mass murder became a vivid scar in my psyche.
Ten years later, the Manhattan skyline is the view I wake up to every morning. New York is my playground. A place that inspires my writing – an amazing melting pot of cultures that changed my outlook on life.
The bomb scare in Times Square – A threat to one of New York’s most famous landmark.
There is something that always attracted me to Times Square. The bright lights, that strange feeling of community, irrespective of the vastness of the place, the traffic and the throbbing crowds of tourists and gawkers.
Times Square is the heart of New York where you can walk through what feels like a canyon of neon lights when the sun goes down. Tourists crowd around maps in search of the next location to visit. Thousands of people gather in the numerous stores and souvenir shops. Families with young children flock to ToysrUs and the M&M’s world.
The bomb scare in Times Square – Faisal Shahzad
The individual who attempted the latest terrorist attack is no anti-social Unabomber living in some remote wood at the edge of society. He is a naturalized American citizen with wife and children who has lived in this country for a decade.
This was no irrational act by a mad man who happened to have a gun close at hand.
Faisal Shahzad trained, plotted and took all the necessary steps to murder people and escape unscathed from the country. Even though the bomb never took off, this was a well planned, well thought attack, executed with meticulous precision. It was thanks to good luck and the prompt intervention of the legendary NYPD, that this criminal was caught.
Link to pictures about Times Square Bomb scare
The bomb scare in Times Square – the aftermath
The knowledge that I had been inches away from a spot where my family and I could have died because of sick fanaticism rocked my boat this week. Just like every person who has been so close to the scene of the crime, I watched the news as the details about the latest terrorist attempt leaked out to the press.
I tried to make sense of what was happening, rationalizing fear and thanking my lucky stars that nothing bad happened to my family and my unborn child.
Then it happened. As yesterday evening we walked so close to the spot where Shahzad had parked the car on Sunday, a strange feeling of triumph crept in.
The increased police presence reminded us of what had happened just a few days ago. Our senses were on the alert in case we saw anything suspicious.
Those who work and play in New York know that they are potentially sitting in the eye of the cyclone, yet they still choose to be there.
Yes we know there are evil men and women who want to bend us using coward acts that instill fear in our heart, and keep us away from living our lives as we have always done, but we will not succumb to fear.
The thousands of visitors who like us chose to be in that awesome canyon of glittering lights and throbbing energy yesterday evening, and every day following this bomb scare are effectively sending a message to those who try to curb our lives and our freedom – “We shall overcome.”
Links to more information about the bomb scare in Times Square – the New York Times
Links to more information about the bomb scare in Times Square – the Washington Post
“Times Square plot may have cost as little as $7K” by David Caruso www.washingtonpost.com
“In times square deciding when to suspend fear” by David Carr www.nytimes.com