Business Almost as Usual as Post-September 11 Fear Fades

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeremy Adams

The front-page headline on the Daily News is a cryptic "J-No". A picture of pop siren Jennifer Lopez with a half-smile and readers are invited to a full explanation of why she and actor Ben Affleck postponed their wedding on page two.So, a normal front-page show-biz headline, then - except for the date. This was the News' front-page lead on September 11, the second anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

Other New York papers put more of an emphasis on remembrance and stories associated with the war on terror. Adverts placed by the likes of Bloomingdales and Saks of Fifth Avenue, the upmarket store, remembered the dead. But unlike last year, this was not a universal policy.

Overall there is no doubt that this September 11 felt different to last year. Then most New Yorkers felt a need to look back and remember, not for a minute but for the day. Wall Street professionals were asking why, just for 2002, the day should be a holiday. Many just took the day off for themselves anyway.

This year, remembrance has not been abandoned. But is it less prominent in the day of most ordinary New Yorkers - those who did not lose a close friend or relative in the attacks. Media coverage of the day and of people's memories of two years ago is much more subdued than in 2002. Talk about the subject is a little less emotive, and less frequent. Feelings are less raw. In the days leading up to the second anniversary the feeling has been one of business almost as usual.

The difference in feeling compared with one year ago is evident in many ways. You see it in politics. Opposing the US government for its approach to the war on terror or policy in Iraq was frowned upon a year ago. Bush won universal admiration for leadership in the wake of 9/11. Democrats shied away from public criticism, fearful of being branded unpatriotic. …