‘They Will Come Back’: New Yorkers Say City Will Recover From Pandemic as It Did 9/11

By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — While some may be saying the coronavirus pandemic is draining New York City’s life, those who lived in the area 19 years ago say they heard the exact same thing after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Madelyn Wils says after 9/11 she heard the same thing over and over again: “Why would anybody want to live or work in lower Manhattan?”

When the planes struck the Twin Towers, she was a resident in Tribeca, and she still lives there today. 

In fact, in the aftermath of the attacks, she was involved in the area’s revival and was chair of Community Board 1. 

Wils says she hears similar comments about the city now and is urging New Yorkers and local leaders to stand up against that message.

“It's not helpful for businesses to talk about cutting back jobs, moving people out of New York,” she said. 

Wils notes that the key to success in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was good leadership – and that needs to happen during and after the pandemic. 

“It's essential that the city, the state and the federal government work together,” she stressed.

Wils believes it's inevitable the city will rebound and says when one generation leaves the city, another one ultimately replaces it. 

“Rents will come down to a point where people can come back to the city and want to be here and not get priced out,” Wils explains. 

She says New York City is a cultural hub and people who want to be a part of it will always flock here. She says plenty of people may leave, but many more will come back or be replaced by newcomers.

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