On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, during my last press conference on the worst day in the history of this city, as the Mayor of New York, I asked my fellow New Yorkers to emerge stronger to show the terrorists our resilience and to act as an example to the people of our country and the world.
Maybe it was advice, maybe a prayer, maybe a hope. Maybe it was all three. At the time we were still looking for survivors, being warned of further attacks, receiving hundreds of calls claiming there were bombs in various locations, triaging our overwhelmed hospitals and receiving continued notifications of close friends confirmed dead and wondering what the next day would bring. But as a native New Yorker I had no doubt of the strength of our people. I knew they would be a shining example of bravery in the face of the worst foreign attack in the history of our nation. The casualties exceeded Pearl Harbor and when asked how many, the number I said was too great to bear.