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Hope Floats: The Boatlift of 9/11
As children in school, we all were taught about the Holocaust. At night, in bed, I used to wonder what I would do in a situation like that: would I have the courage to stand up and do something? The question stays with me, especially as I age and realize how complicated moral lines can be when it comes to one's own survival.
One of the most astonishing and uplifting things to come out of the coverage of the 9/11 anniversary is the stories of the people who risked everything to save others—not just the fireman, police, and hospital workers, but ordinary people like the gentleman who carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 flights to safety or the man in the red bandana.
The story I've never heard before is about the private boat captains who responded to the call by the Coast Guard for help with the stranded victims on the southern tip of Lower Manhattan. In this moving new video by The Road to Resilience organization, we watch as nearly 500,000 people are saved and carried across the waters of the Hudson—an act of bravery that turned out to be the largest sea evacuation in world history.
I keep thinking about what I want to take away from this Sunday—and what I want to remember long after the day is over. Perhaps Robin Jones, the hardboiled engineer of the Mary Gellatly, best described what we should always keep in mind, in terms of all of our lives. "I believe everybody has a little hero in 'em," he says in the video. "You gotta look in there. It'll come out, if need be."
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