The leader of New York City’s official destination marketing organization strongly condemned Tuesday’s terrorist attack, but assured meeting groups and tourists that the city remains safe and welcoming.
“We condemn this senseless act of violence here and those in other destinations around the globe,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, in a statement. “We are a strong, united and resilient community. New York City remains a safe and welcoming destination for leisure visitors and meetings delegates, and we encourage travelers to continue with their plans here and elsewhere.”
The city’s resilience was on full display during Tuesday night’s 44th Annual Village Halloween Parade in the Greenwich Village neighborhood. The traditional vampires, witches and ghosts were joined by jellyfish, dinosaurs and a goldfish in a bowl—refusing to be deterred by the mass murder earlier in the day.
Tens of thousands of people took part in the celebration, and while the crowd of onlookers was a bit smaller and more wary than usual, parade performers were as exuberant as ever. The prevailing spirit was to show fortitude and solidarity with the victims.
“Tonight we’re at a Halloween parade to say you didn’t win and you didn’t affect us. We’re doing what New Yorkers do,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN. “We’re living our lives because we’re not going to allow the terrorists to win, period. And that’s why I’m here marching in the parade, not because I have a great costume.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) provided additional officers at the parade site and throughout the rest of the city after Sayfullo Saipov, 29, drove a rental truck down the bike path along the Hudson River, killing eight people, before hitting a school bus and being shot by a police officer.
“We are deeply saddened by the terrible attack of October 31, and are thankful and reassured by the swift actions of the NYPD and first responders,” Dixon said. “Our deepest sympathies are with all the victims and their families. It is profoundly disheartening to learn of the five Argentineans and the Belgian who were among those who lost their lives and of the other injured or affected visitors—all simply here to experience and enjoy our incredible city.”