As we mark the tenth anniversary of the senseless terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, our thoughts turn to those who were taken from us that day, the heroes who prevented even more tragedy from taking place, and those who put themselves in harm’s way so they could aid the survivors.
My thoughts also turn to several people I met in the World Trade Center a couple of weeks before the attack. We had been invited by ABC News’ 20/20 to film a story about the Wacky Warning Label Contest in New York City, and we spent the day doing interviews in a vacant store in the mall beneath the twin towers. Sadly, it would turn out to be the last video footage filmed in the World Trade Center for national television.
The producers at 20/20 had decided to set up tables in this landmark location so they could display the products and ask tourists and employees of companies located in the towers to comment on the wacky labels. The segment was scheduled to air a few days after the attack, but it was immediately shelved. Of course, the networks focused on news coverage of the tragedy in the days and weeks after the attacks on America.
ABC News eventually decided to air the segment on the wacky labels, but only if all of the people who had been interviewed in the World Trade Center survived. Happily, the producers learned after much searching that all of the people they had filmed had indeed survived!
The New York Times ran a story in which it reported that the people who had been filmed for the segment thought it would be nice to see the footage taken on that carefree day. In November, 2001, the segment aired. There was no mention of where it had been filmed because it was not considered crucial to the segment. To see the video, click here.
The scenes where people can be seen walking in the background as others are interviewed about the funny labels were all filmed in the lower level of the World Trade Center.
I often think about the nice people we shared laughs with that day. This week, I will fly my American flag proudly, as usual, and my thoughts and prayers will be with those survivors and all the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.