I'm a freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published October 8th 2016
Lest we forget
Like everyone else who existed on the planet on September 11, 2001, I will never forget where I was when I learned of the terrible incidents which occurred in New York that morning. As I watched in absolute horror at my television screen, I couldn't even begin to fathom what it was like for the people who were actually there that day.
This documentary, directed by brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, provides a first-hand account of what it was like for some of the first firefighters on the scene that day.
It was meant to be a documentary, which followed a rookie fire fighter as he went through his extensive training to become a fully fledged part of the team. This was a compelling concept in itself, but no one could have imagined that on one of their days of filming, the unspeakable was about to happen and their film would become a major part of American history, but at a terrible cost.
On the morning of 9/11, the film crew were following their subject fire crew on a routine gas leak check. All of a sudden the abnormal sound of a low-flying plane can be heard overhead. The camera points into the sky and catches the rare footage of what was American Airlines Flight 11 slamming into the North tower of the World Trade Center; this was the moment the world changed forever.
From there, it follows the firefighters into the North Tower and gives us a rare glimpse of what it was actually like to be in the main lobby of the building after the first plane hit. The cameras stayed rolling through all of the the chaos and confusion; we see how the firefighters attempting to tackle approximately 20 stories of fire and the unimaginable horror they went through as the second tower came crashing down.
While one cameraman was inside the tower, another was still on the street. When United Airlines 175 was then seen crashing into the South Tower, they each thought the other had perished. The audience can only watch on to see what became of the cameramen and the members of the fire crew they were documenting at the time and where they are today, 15 years later, in the year 2016 and what they are doing to ensure the safety of emergency service personnel in major disasters.
Needless to say, this documentary comes with a strong trigger warning, as it contains sounds and images which are very distressing to some viewers. However it is also one of the most well documented accounts of that day you may ever see.
May all those lost to us on that day and all those involved who have since passed on forever rest in peace.