There’s been more written and produced about the 911 terrorist attacks than perhaps any single vent with the exception of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima.
Non-New Yorkers have heard about it but have no true understanding of the feeling and emotion surrounding the event. Shortly after the attack, a mid-Westerner at a resort commented that it was time those from New York “Got over it and moved on.”
For someone in the heartland with no target of any major importance for a terrorist, it’s an easy thing to say. But for those living in “The Big Apple,” it’s something always with you.
There’s the hole in the skyline where the Twin Towers once stood; there are those still mourning lost loved ones or friends; there’s the constant reminders of what happened.
On the night of the attack, police vehicles racing down the West Side Highway slowed as people suddenly jumped from the curb to the side of the road holding signs. The lawmen in the vehicles were brought to tears reading the placards:
“God bless you,” “You are Heroes.” And more. Manhattanites wanted to show their solidarity with the First Responders and this was the only way they could think to do it. It was spontaneous and from the heart. More amazing was the fact that so many came up with the same idea at the same time.
On May 30, 2012, the Plaza at the 911 Memorial was dedicated. Only First Responders, recovery workers and others involved in the recovery were invited to the private ceremony. Some of the invitees walking down the middle of the street to the entrance were again brought to tears.
There on the sidewalk, this time behind police barricades, were New York residents holding signs blessing them and again, calling them heroes.
Matt Naimaister, then a 15-year-old high school student, was there with family members. Matt took pictures of the event, the activities and the people involved.
Matt went to work the next day and for two weeks labored over the photos. He put them together into a video, added caption slides and then a musical accompaniment. The folks at the 911 Mission were so taken by his effort that they included a copy of Matt’s video in their historic files. If you can watch this without choking or having a tear in your eyes, you must be from the Mid West.
If you have a chance, check out his link at (and then pass it along): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cDT_TrDMAw&feature=youtu.be