A celebration of New York and of people generally.

Bet you didn’t expect to see this thread today. But it’s important.

I was just evacuated from downtown and walked, along with thousands and thousands of others, to the East Village. It’s important for everyone to know what I saw.

Immediately outside of my building on Water St. NYPD and FDNY had units staging and people directing the confused and scared evacuees. “No, that’s not running.” “Yes, you can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.” “Please head north before trying to go west.” “I’m sorry sir, can I get you on the other side of the street.”

These fine men and women had just lost perhaps hundreds of members their own close fraternities when the towers collapsed. There were a few tears, but each and every one of them was working their hardest to help people and prevent further tragedies.

Walking up South St., the guys at the fish market were handing out paper towels for people to breathe through.

As we got to Chinatown, we started to run into street vendors. Did they jack their prices? No, they lowered them. They were selling bottled water for $1, and giving it away to people who didn’t have the cash.

By the time I got to Canal St. and 1st Ave., there were trainees from some police academy that was not NYPD. I didn’t get a chance to see who they were, but someone somewhere came into New York to help direct traffic, freeing up NYPD for duties downtown. Think about that.

All along the way, people were helping each other remain calm, encouraging folks to press on and telling them that they were out of danger.

Whoever did this can collapse our buildings. They can kill thousands. But they will never, never beat us.

Amen, brother. And I’m glad you’re OK.

As much as I tend to bemoan the state of morality and cowardice I see happening all over the place, it’s things like this that keep me going. That in a crisis, people forget about money, and about themselves, and help others. Bless 'em all.

I’ll add an amen. It never fails to amaze me, the way human kindness and decency flowers in the wake of tragedy.

Reading the OP made me feel a little better, knowing that there are at least some people left in this world that know how to act like human beings.

And believe it or not, manhattan, I was thinking about you this morning, and was hoping you were OK. Another reason why I was glad to see this thread.

This restores some of my faith in humanity.

Thank you for posting this, manhattan. It’s important to see this.

Thanks. I needed that.

Thank you for sharing this story, manhattan. This is important.

This is as painful as it gets, but it will make the United States stronger and will galvanize support. Somebody made a huge tactical error here.

many, I cried for the first time today when I read your OP.

I meant “manny,” of course.

Americans did this after the first WTC bomb. We did it at Oklahoma City. We’re doing it now.

We will always respond to terrorism by saying “FUCK YOU! You will NOT destroy us.” We will do whatever is necessary. It is one of the most amazing, heart-warming trait almost every American shares.

We will not be hiding under our chairs. We will be out there helping, doing, reacting. We always will.

This thread was sooooo necessary. Thank you, Manny, and all y’other posters for giving me something more uplifting to cry over.

I almost got upset at the news today when they showed a HUGE lineup outside the hospital and were shoving cameras in their face figureing they were showing the injured. But then I realized that this mass of people were waiting to donate blood. It is good that people can bind together like this.

Damn skippy!

manhattan, that was beautiful and exactly what I would have expected after witnessing my fellow Americans in OKC.

If you mess with New York, you mess with all of America.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you there.

Thanks so much, manhattan, for sharing this.

Today will be remembered for its horrific events, but at least there are the shining moments also.

Manhattan, I’m so glad you’re OK. It’s wonderful that people were helping each other along. I’m one of those naive ones who says “people are good” – I guess today, I’m right and I’m wrong.

Thank you for posting that, manhattan. We all need to be proud of our humanity.

Along with a few New Yorker friends of mine who don’t post on the SDMB, you were in my thoughts when I heard the terrible news. I was very glad to see that you were OK.

in the face of the worst, we can show our best. Keep those kind of good thoughts and stories happening.

You are a prince among men for helping us remember what’s important.