I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. — Thomas Jefferson
For the first two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I rode my rusting bicycle down to Ground Zero past armed National Guard troops to field produce for ABC News. Working down there from dawn until after dark every day distracted me from drowning in helplessness.
Freelance camera crews from around the country and I roamed the devastated area to gather critical information, record people’s stories, and try to comfort those who had lost everything. Allen Facemire, an experienced cameraman from Atlanta, took this picture of me at Ground Zero. We had covered Mayor Giuliani and his entourage that morning.
I lived at 12th Street & 4th Avenue at the time of the attacks. Heard the first plane split the sky overhead as it barreled south. Saw the crippled towers belching smoke. Watched hundreds of World Trade Center workers making the somber march north, covered in gray ash from the towers’ collapse. Many carried dusty briefcases.
The city was in a coma for days afterwards. So strange to not be able to get a cup of coffee, a newspaper, a stick of gum. And weird, in a good way, to connect with every stranger passing on a street: ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Isn’t this terrible?’ ‘What have you heard?’
I urge you to view an amazing six-part series about the rebirth of Ground Zero and the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero aired on Discovery last week to huge numbers. Steven Spielberg is an Executive Producer of this compelling project. I pitched in as a Consulting Producer on the 4th hour.
Rising runs non-stop on 9/11 on Science from 11am ET.
Hope you have a moment to reflect in your own way.