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Heavy rain falls all through the night, hampering the rescue effort. Smoke from lower Manhattan mixes with mist, and the city is covered in gray. Mid-afternoon, and the cloud cover suddenly breaks, showing us a cool blue sky.

For the first time since the attack, I leave Jersey City and the local rescue effort, and head into Manhattan. At Christopher Street, I am able to make it to the West Side Highway which runs along the Hudson, then all the way down past Canal Street — perhaps about three quarters of a mile north of the World Trade Center ruins. The mood is extraordinary. New Yorkers respond not with hatred, but with an outpouring of love and support for the rescue workers, the fire and police departments, and the never-ending parade of trucks and heavy equipment thundering in from all over the country. President Bush and Mayor Guiliani ride by in a cavalcade, headed north, escorted by upwards of forty motorcycles, trucks, and official vehicles. On the other side of the highway, rescue and transport vehicles are on the move sporting handmade signs that read "WE ARE ONE NATION" and "LONG LIVE AMERICA."

As the sun sets, thousands of New Yorkers — young and old — pour into Union Square Park. Most are carrying candles. An impromptu shrine begins to grow on the south side of the park, consisting of hundreds of candles, flower bouquets, picture postcards of the World Trade Center, and messages of hope and loss, pleas for peace, prayers for the fallen. Buddhist monks chant, students sing, and a off in the dark, a lone trumpeter plays "When the Saints Go Marching In." It is a defining New York City moment: people from dozens of countries and cultures converging to share their grief and show solidarity for the future.

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