'We're Not Going To Let The Terrorists Win': New Yorkers Demonstrate Resilience Following Attack

"You didn’t win. And you didn’t affect us."

Just hours after a Manhattan terror attack killed eight people and injured 11, New Yorkers defiantly took to the streets — chin up and chest high — to participate in the nation's largest Halloween parade. It was, by many accounts, an exemplification of the character of New York, a city that is no stranger to tragedy. Not only did more than two million people attend the Halloween parade Tuesday night, but New Yorkers across social media expressed solidarity in the face of terror.

The yearly Halloween parade in Greenwich village did have increased security, but it didn't stop New Yorkers from attending and participating. One reporter even caught a glimpse of some cheeky New York resilience, saying she interviewed several locals dressed as chickens "who say they are not afraid." 

"Tonight we are at a Halloween parade to say, 'You didn't win. And you didn't affect us,'" New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Queens native, told CNN. "We're out and we're celebrating and we're doing what New Yorkers do. And we're living our lives, because we're not going to let the terrorists win. Period."

Michael G. Stone, a charity fundraiser, wrote on his website that he decided to take a stroll through the streets on Tuesday night. What he found encouraged him, he wrote: "I saw normalcy."

"Kids and parents walked the streets trick-or-treating," he continued. "Teenagers aimlessly loitered, too cool to dress up and ask for candy, too young to enter the multitude of bars packed with Halloween revelers. The Village Halloween Parade marched on as usual. Muslims joined Christians joined Jews joined atheists joined — well, every religion in the world, really — in a celebration of New York and of its diversity, but also of its quintessential 'Americanness.'"

Other New Yorkers felt the same. Rebecca Smith tweeted from the West Village, just north of where the attack took place, that people were out in the streets "celebrating life." She wasn't alone.

Pedestrians and trick-or-treaters weren't the only ones to evince New Yorkers' true character. In a moment of profound unity and foresight, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller delivered a powerful message at the podium during a press conference about the attack.

"I think this is an important time to say that this isn't about Islam," Miller said. "It's not about what mosque he attends. There are hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Muslims in New York City who are adversely affected by things like this."

Miller then noted that in the aftermath of similar events, the department has often seen an uptick in hate crimes across the city.

"Hate crimes will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Miller added. "It is a time to come together and to not confuse this terrorist attack with any broad brush against a religion or a particular institution."


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