The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

January 2, 2013

Hoping for improvement

U.S., Europe wish new year brings better times

NEW YORK — From the glittering New Year’s ball dropping in Times Square to joyous fireworks in London and cheers in a once-isolated Asian country, the world did its best to ring in 2013 with hope for renewal after a year of economic uncertainty, searing violence and natural disasters.

“With all the sadness in the country, we’re looking for some good changes in 2013,” Laura Concannon, of Hingham, Mass., said as she, her husband, Kevin, and his parents joined hundreds of thousands of revelers lined up for blocks through bustling Times Square on Monday.

Yvonne Gomez, 53, a physician from Grand Forks, N.D., glowed as she and her husband, 63-year-old potato farmer Greg Halverson, took in the festivities in New York.

“I couldn’t begin the new year in a more beautiful way,” she said. “I married him two weeks ago and here we are in the middle of Times Square celebrating the new year — two widowers who found each other.”

Revelers with New Year’s hats and sunglasses boasting “2013” packed the streets in the 35-degree cold to count down the first ball drop in decades without Dick Clark, who died in April and was honored with his name printed on pieces of confetti and on one of the crystal panels on the Times Square ball.

Matias Dellanno, 37, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, stood in the middle of the square with his wife and 3-year-old son, beaming with joy as his eyes caught the multicolored lighting illuminating the square just before midnight.

“I feel a completely new hope for 2013,” he said. “It can’t be any worse than last year, when my business lost clients. It was a rough year for everyone. The new year has to be better!”

Security in Times Square was tight, with a mass of uniformed police and plainclothes officers assigned to blend into the crowd. With police Commissioner Raymond Kelly proclaiming that Times Square would be the “safest place in the world on New Year’s Eve,” officers used barriers to prevent overcrowding and checkpoints to inspect vehicles, enforce a ban on alcohol and check handbags.

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