Eleven years ago today, our beloved New York City experienced one of the worst days in our history. Out of the ashes rose the resilience and strength of a community of caring that stretched well beyond our five boroughs, with citizens from across the country and around the globe reaching out to put their collective arms around us. Legions of volunteers arrived on the scene almost immediately, and thousands more spent years downtown, helping to rebuild our neighborhood.
We will never forget that horrible day, and the gaping hole it created both in our skyline and in our hearts. Today we honor those who lost their lives—the thousands who perished in Washington, Shanksville, and here, including hundreds of our brave first responders.
While we understand that everyone will acknowledge this solemn anniversary in their own way, we have assembled a small list of ways to honor and remember.
Over the past year, millions have visited the 9/11 Memorial, a tranquil and beautiful tribute to the victims and a place of respite for contemplative New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The historical collection of artifacts and memorabilia ready for display in the accompanying 9/11 Museum will complement the austere beauty of the Memorial.
While construction on the 9/11 Museum slowed down earlier this year, news broke last night that the city, state and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—long at odds over the funding and oversight—have finally reached a deal. Construction will resume shortly, with a late 2013 opening planned.
In the best of circumstances, terrific suffering inspires impassioned art, full of hope and the triumph of spirit over despair. Given that the Tribeca Film Festival, too, grew out of the ashes of September 11, 2001, we’d like to highlight a few of our favorite movies that reflect on the events of that fateful day.
Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, United Flight 93 took off from Newark, NJ, heading to San Francisco. 45 minutes into the flight, hijackers took over the plane. When passengers on board learned of the day’s tragic events (via surreptitious calls to loved ones), they put a courageous plan into action. Paul Greengrass’s riveting film tells the story of their ultimate sacrifice in real time. It’s a harrowing tale, but one that deserves to be watched and revered.
Thousands of lives were shattered by three separate acts of terrorism: the attacks on the World Trade Center, the London bus bombing and the Sari Club bombing in Bali. This inspirational documentary tracks the difficult journeys of three families torn apart by these events as they struggle to pick up the pieces, create lasting legacies for loved ones lost, and ensure love triumphs over hatred.
Lonely flight attendant Montine McLeod (Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo) becomes responsible for a 10-year-old Pakistani-American boy traveling solo when news of the 9/11 attacks grounds their flight in Texas. After learning of the boy’s direct connection to the tragic events, McLeod musters the compassion she could never afford her own family, and the two embark on a heartrending road trip to meet an uncertain future in New York City.
New York Says Thank You is an epic story following the journey of New Yorkers whose lives were touched by September 11 as they travel the country helping communities rebuild after disasters. Along the way, they face their emotions and ultimately triumph over tragedy through an idea that evolved from a five-year-old New York City boy.