In honor of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, we are sharing one of our favorite and most poignant documentary films about that day, "Boatlift."
"Boatlift" chronicles the marine evacuation of lower Manhattan during the attacks. Narrated by Tom Hanks, this short film highlights the ordinary people who stepped up to help strangers in a time of crisis.
If you would like to learn more about the evacuation and the people involved, read Jessica DuLong's book Saved at the Seawall: Stories from the September 11 Boat Lift or catch up on her 2021 lecture for the Hudson River Maritime Museum, "Heroes or Human: September 11th Lessons on the 20th Anniversary," as recorded below.
Jessica DuLong shares the dramatic story of how the New York Harbor maritime community delivered stranded commuters, residents, and visitors out of harm’s way on September 11, 2001. Even before the US Coast Guard called for “all available boats,” tugs, ferries, dinner boats, and other vessels had sped to the rescue from points all across New York Harbor. In less than nine hours, captains and crews transported nearly half a million people from Manhattan. This was the largest maritime evacuation in history. DuLong’s talk, and her book Saved at the Seawall, highlight how people come together, in their shared humanity, to help one another through disasters. Actions taken during those crucial hours exemplify the reflexive resourcefulness and resounding goodness that reminds us of the hope and wonder that’s possible on the darkest days.
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This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
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