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Remembering 9/11 ΓÇô A NatGeo Documentary

By   |   September 11, 2014   |   Food Fashion Style

Contributor Tsadiqwah Scarville remembers one of the most solemn days in American History: 9/11.

It’s the day the world will never forget. Al Qaeda terrorist Mohamed Atta alongside his fatal accomplice hijacked two American air crafts, crashing the planes head on into the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center. Recently, I took a trip to Ground Zero to visit the 9/11 Memorial where the two eminent towers once stood.

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It was my first time seeing the beautifully constructed, two 1 acre waterfalls built 30 feet below ground, with nearly 3,000 victims’ names etched into the parapet walls since the attacks — my first time being back at the former World Trade Center since I was a young girl.

As I reflected on my own memories of visiting this unprecedented place as a child, I wondered if any of the events from this fateful day couldΓÇÖve been foreseen. Who were these thousands of people who had died and risked their lives? What were they like? What did their days consist of just 24 hours before?

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A new National Geographic documentary, 9/10: The Final Hours, produced and directed by Erik Nelson offers a unique retrospective of the overall atmosphere of New York the day before 9/11, the quiet before the storm, if you will. Up until now, we’ve always reenacted the accounts of what happened on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. This film however, digs a bit deeper, in hindsight maybe looking for a trace of some unspoken energy, taking us through moment-by-moment accounts by the people who narrowly escaped death and who crossed paths with the two terrorists as they made their way from Boston to New York.

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Jim Atkins, a WB11 news anchor at the time, talks about the ironic downpour of rain and thunder the night before and a host of less significant news findings, such the infamous Y2K computer glitch that had everyone walking on pins and needles believing something like a global computer crash “could never happen to America.”

George Delgado, head bartender of Windows of the World, the restaurant that sat at the top of the World Trade Center, describes the very last cocktail he mixed. Then there’s the Comfort Inn hotel clerk who checked the two terrorists into their rooms with no apparent sign of danger, and the customer service representative who checked the two men and their luggage on their flight at US Airways.

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This combination of perspectives serves not only as a precursor but also a cultural measurement of what the world lost and regained on and after 9/11. Director Nelson tells me that September 11, 2001, is as just important to preserve as its counterpart that changed the world forever. “In a strange way we’re trying to bring the World Trade Center to life. We want people to remember not what happened when it came down, but the life of the building, not its death.”

Catch 9/10: The Final Hours at its next airing, Sunday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. on National Geographic channel.

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