The past decade (2001- 2010) has been defined by New York news stories that have jolted us, for better or worse, into the 21st century.
In honor of the new year, we're asking HuffPost readers, what was the most important New York news story of the first ten years of the 21st century? Please submit your nominations below, or tweet them using the hashtag #storyofthedecade or email them to email@example.com.
Below are some of the front runners for biggest stories, but we want your input! We will soon post the most nominated entries, and then you can vote on the story of the decade.
9/11 was undoubtedly an extremely important local, national, even global story of the last ten years -- a horrific event that shaped the political landscape of the following decade. But for New Yorkers, it was a deeply disturbing and personal moment. While the nation experienced the event through the TV, we could see firsthand the towers burning, smell the buildings smoldering downtown, mourned neighbors and fallen heroes, and lived with the fear that it could happen again. While the attacks of September 11th shattered the city’s innocence (if it ever had it to begin with), it renewed our local spirit and love for the city.
Who could forget that magical whimsy of a city in darkness, cooperating with nothing less than utopian zeal? Instead of the wild looting of the 70’s, New Yorkers jumped into streets and directed traffic, bars sold warming beers from buckets of ice, and stores gave out melting ice cream to weary commuters trekking miles home. It wasn’t easy, but it was special.
The drive to rebuild in the wake of the September 11th attacks was fierce, but ten years later, the new World Trade Center is still not complete. First, the city opened up a contest for the new towers, chose a winner (Daniel Liebskind) years later abandoned that design, hired a new design firm to hammer out details of the so-called ‘Freedom Tower’, battled with families about the intent of the memorial, and so on. The design was finally settled in 2006 and construction is underway.
When Eliot Spitzer took office, he was heralded as a scion of moral judgment, a combative liberal who even critics named “The Sheriff Of Wall Street.” That nearly spotless career of fighting special interests all came crashing down when Spitzer revealed to the world his dark past as Client 9, a powerful patron of prostitutes. The scandal ultimately forced the governor of New York to resign in shame.
For years Bernard Madoff was the hottest deal in town – get in with him, the story went, and you’d be gold (or, at least all your investments would receive a suspiciously steady 10% every year). Too good to be true? Well, yes. Madoff ultimately was responsible for $50 billion in fraud, destroying lives and fortunes, including the Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel, who entrusted his life savings to Madoff. The reverberations of his crime are still felt today.
Flight 1549 was making its way over NYC when it was struck by a flock of geese, resulting in engine failure on both sides. As the plane fell from the sky, the pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, could have flown back to LaGuardia, but didn’t want to risk losing lives on the ground as well as on board. In a moment of wild heroics, the pilot kept his cool enough to land the plane on the freezing cold Hudson. Amazingly, all 155 survived in the crash landing.
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