On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, a rainbow over New York City became a symbol of hope — and a poignant message for one grieving Hell’s Kitchen mom. The rainbow unfurled its colors across the Manhattan skyline, uniting the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center after a dramatic thunderstorm drenched the city. Photographer Gary Hershorn captured the moment from New Jersey, stating, “What a sunset, with a beautiful rainbow behind the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center on the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.” The image has since gone viral, with over 2.5 million views on X (formerly known as Twitter).
The rainbow stretched its technicolor arc over Hell’s Kitchen, where other W42ST readers offered their own perspectives through various snaps taken from side streets and towering edifices. Jeffrey LeFrancois, took his picture on 10th Avenue and couldn’t help but comment with a touch of humor and pride: “Didn’t think Hell’s Kitchen could get gayer. Thanks, rain gods!🌈”
Musician Thomas Piercy took a more introspective route, sharing an image of the clouds and skies that foreshadowed the rainbow. He described the vista as: “Big white clouds outside, little black dots inside, thunder in the background.”
Yet perhaps no contribution resonated more deeply than that of Chrissy Collins, the mother of 19-year-old Ava Conklin, who was tragically lost earlier this year. Sharing her photo of the rainbow, Chrissy disclosed a quiet plea she had made to her departed daughter. “This morning I asked Ava for a rainbow and she sent me a rainbow. She’s on a roll right now🌈,” wrote Chrissy.