The Largest Maritime Evacuation: It Happened on 9/11

More than 10 years after September 11, 2001, I thought that I had seen and heard all the stories about that tragic day.

But recently I received an e-mail from a friend with a link to a video of a 9/11 event that I was not familiar with, or which I have perhaps forgotten.

The video is a documentary made by award-winning documentary filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein and narrated by Tom Hanks. It premiered at the Center for National Policy’s 9/11 Ten Year Anniversary Summit, in Washington, D.C.

It is the story of how over 500,000 people who were trapped on Manhattan Island when the burning towers collapsed — and as all bridges, tunnels and commuter lines linking Manhattan to the rest of the world were closed — were evacuated by “hundreds of tugboats, ferries, fishing boats, coast guard cutters and other vessels” that rushed towards the Manhattan seawalls.

It is the story of how “the brave community of mariners who ply the waters of New York’s Harbor” at great personal risk “pushed their boats into the harbor, and filled [them] over and over with dazed passengers,” all in nine hours and without a single injury.

It is the story of “the largest maritime evacuation in history.”

It is “BOATLIFT — An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience”

Read more about it here

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

4 Comments

  1. DDW, thanks for that story of the maritime end of 9/11. I remember seeing all the people walking uptown past my building, but never thought of the others on water.

    BTW: this article may be of interest to you.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01.....-iraq.html

  2. Thanks for the link, dd

  3. Thanks Dorian. This is the first I’ve heard this amazing story. Good to see “average” Americans will still step up like this when the chips are down.

  4. Thanks “zephir.” I am also surprised — from talking to relatives and friends — how this great American story has not been publicized much more.

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