For many people around the globe, America symbolizes a certain freedom — a land of choice. 9/11: First Responders is a tribute to the thousands who made a life or death choice. A handful of those thousands recount their stories here, with admirable candor, humility and, sometimes, humor. They are our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and family, who came to the attacked twin towers on the morning of September 11, 2001 and chose to stay. These exceptional human beings challenge all of us to rise to a higher level of selflessness. They truly embody the concept “home of the brave.”
On the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, we acknowledge the thousands from our city and our country who came to help. Whether they pulled colleagues from the rubble, massaged the weary backs of the rescuers, or supported the spiritually broken, they continue to re-live these events in a way unique to those who witness history. One of the volunteers we see here puts it quite eloquently: “The strength of this country is its people and its compassion.”
The women and men who made the choice to work at ground zero live with the emotional and physical scars of that choice each day. They offer us hope for future generations to work as a community. It’s up to us to make sure they are not forgotten.
9/11: First Responders airs on WLIW on September 11, 2011 at 9:00-10:00 p.m. and September 13, 2011 at 1:00-2:00 a.m. The documentary is a co-production of WLIW21 and is hosted by actress S. Epatha Merkerson.
Watch a preview: