Sept. 11 Forged Spiritual In Roads for New Yorkers

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NEW YORK -- The tragic events of 9/11 changed the world forever. As horrific images flashed across TV screens, people in New York City and across the country turned to prayer.

On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists altered the New York City's iconic skyline and affected an entire generation of Americans.

CBN News reported from Ground Zero after the attacks. Smoke could still be seen steadily rising from what was left of the World Trade Center towers.

Wall Street looked more like a police state than a financial hub. Although the markets soon re-opened, those who worked there said money was the last thing on their minds.

"I can tell you that I have a substantial amount of money in the market, but I don't care. I'm here. I'm alive. I have my family, my kids, my wife. Money is irrelevant," one person told CBN News.

At Union Square, hundreds gathered to deal with their grief. Many wrote out prayers or wore pictures of their missing relatives.

"I don't know where to go, but I thought this would be a good place to start this morning," one woman said as she walked into a local church.

"And that's one of the reasons we came here, to spend a little time to think about what we are, what we're doing here, and what it means to have survived it and not to have survived it," another man said.

Sept. 11 started as a beautiful day -- sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky. It's been 10 years since the terrorists stabbed this city in the heart but for many New Yorkers, the memories are as painful and as raw as yesterday.

"This is my city. This is my soil. Never thought it could happen here," a woman who identified herself only as Rose said. "When the plane hit, I knew immediately that it was intentional."

"I don't think we'll ever forget it," another woman named Sarah said.

Even tough New Yorkers like Rose and Sarah say 9/11 changed them and their city.

"I'm fearful. I think it's changed us for the rest of our lives," Rose said.

"When you see the constant police protection. We came in on a bus to go to the Pompey exhibit, and the bus had to be stopped because the counter terrorism group had to check underneath it," she added.

"I come in and I enjoy the city. I look around me more. I'm a little more observant," Sarah said.

Sept. 11 also transformed the city in another way. A new Barna group study revealed that New Yorkers are more spiritually active today than they were immediately following the terror attacks.

The study found more people attend church and have a greater commitment to Christ than a decade ago.

The study also found that the number of born-again Christians in New York surged from 20 percent in the late 1990s to 32 percent today.

Although no one will ever forget the images from the Twin Towers, or the nearly 3,000 lives who perished that day, New Yorkers say they have a message for the rest of the world.

"We're strong," Sarah told CBN News. "We're fighters and we don't give up and we're not giving in."

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Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith

CBN News Anchor/Reporter

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for the The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, she co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. Follow Wendy on Twitter @WendygCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/WendyGriffithCBN.