SEASON 1, EPISODE 4
Heroes of 9/11
Premiere Date: Feb. 13, 2018
Join Ann Curry for dramatic reunions between people whose lives intersected on 9/11. Patrick searches for the stranger who comforted him after the disaster, while Timothy hopes to thank the fellow chaplain who gave him the strength to carry on.
Heroes of 9/11
Join Ann Curry for dramatic reunions between people whose lives intersected on 9/11.
It’s very rare that the course of a nation – and the world – changes in a single day. But that’s what happened on September 11, 2001. For two men, in very different walks of life, it was the kindness of strangers that helped them survive the trauma of the day and of the intervening years.
On September 11, 2001, Patrick Anderson was in New York for a conference at the Marriott World Trade Center, the 22-storey hotel that sat between the famous Twin Towers. At 8:46 am, he was dressing for the day when the North Tower was hit by a hijacked airliner, American Airlines flight 11. Patrick was among the tens of thousands of people fleeing the complex when, at 9.03am, the South Tower was hit by a second hijacked plane, United Airlines flight 175.
Several blocks away, an exhausted Patrick sought sanctuary in Stuyvesant High School, where pupils were gathered in caps and gowns for yearbook photographs. In this moment of isolation and despair, a stranger – Emily Maroney - approached him. Emily, the photographer’s assistant, took Patrick’s arm and told him he looked like he needed a hug.
For the next three hours, Emily took him under her wing as together they fled up the crowded West Highway, back to the studio where she worked. She shared her lunch with Patrick, then helped him make contact with his family and make a plan of where to go next. Only once she knew he was safe did she make her own way home.
Now 58, Patrick has never forgotten Emily’s kindness. He is wants to reconnect with her and find out what became of his Guardian Angel.
As Patrick Anderson was running for his life in New York, another horrific attack was unfolding in Washington DC: At 9:37am, a third hijacked plane was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon.
Just a few miles away from the crash site, U.S. Army Chaplain Timothy Mallard was at home looking after his sick children when he heard the plane strike. In the days that followed, Timothy was assigned to provide pastoral care and support to the hundreds of soldiers and emergency workers at the crash site, including a FEMA team from Tennessee whose task was to make the building safe before recovering the victims.
By Timothy’s fourth continuous day absorbing the grief of others, his own emotional wellbeing and faith was beginning to fail him. Following an impromptu service in the Pentagon grounds, he collapsed in a state of distress.
Just at that moment, when it seemed his faith had deserted him, a fellow chaplain appeared by his side to offer words of comfort. Though they did not speak for long enough for Timothy to discover his name, he recalls that the Good Samaritan was a coastguard chaplain. His warm support gave Timothy the strength to continue his mission, not only at the Pentagon crash site but also in his army career since 2001, in which he served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now Timothy wants to meet the mystery minister again to thank him for giving him the strength to carry on.