The holiday season in a big city has always had a magical aura to it. People spend outrageous amounts of money to travel to the New York Cities and Chicagos of the world just to experience this appealing magic.
But this holiday season the magical appeal of a big city is replaced with fear and terror.
According to a recent poll, “83 percent of registered voters believe a large scale terror attack in the U.S. is likely in the near future.” Americans are fearful, and rightfully so, after the attacks in Europe that have taken place in public events singling out innocent civilians.
Shortly after these attacks, The State Department issued a rare worldwide travel alert Monday evening for U.S. citizens amid several terror threats overseas. Many Americans take this as more of an incentive to stay in more low-key areas this holiday season. The State Department also “urged people to avoid large crowds and to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.”
Because of these warnings, fear has spread through America. Day to day tasks may not be changing, but the planning of New Year’s Eve plans are definitely being influenced due to the recent terror. MarketWatch reports that “About 10 percent of American travelers have canceled a trip in response to the terror attacks, eliminating a potential $8.2 billion in travel spending, according to a survey of about 1,064 people by data collection site YouGov.”
Traveling to other cities is clearly being affected but what about plans within your city? Terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, orchestrated by anyone, large groups or individual, just like they it had recently in Colorado and California. And Americans certainly realize this.
People cannot just stop living their lives during the most bustling time of the year because of fear. The wise are avoiding large masses but they realize it is nearly impossible to avoid going out. Kerry, a friend who lives in New York City, said she had avoided public transportation for a bit after the attacks in Paris.
All of America is along side her in this fear. N.R. Kleinfield reports in the New York Times that “Everybody is filled with what we sometimes refer to as anticipatory anxiety — worrying about something that is not currently happening in our lives but could happen.”
Kerry also stated that she will avoid massive holiday events in Times Square but her usual hangouts at city bars will not be avoided. The magical appeal that usually engulfs Americans spirits is still here but with a level of uncertainty. What is the holiday season in New York City without Times Square?
Well, it’s still the city that never sleeps. It’s still the diamond of America. The Big Apple.
Americans will not take this fear of terrorism lightly, but they will not let it control them and their Christmas spirit. America is their home and they will refuse to live like hostages within that.
The American people are fearful, yes, but they are also brave. They will not let the horrific actions of one group of people or a few individuals make them live in a claustrophobia of fear.