Hidden Heroes: the Boatlift of 9/11

The ten-year anniversary of 9/11 prompted a vivid documentary about the boatlift of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers off Manhattan following the World Trade Center attacks. Alternative, less choppy video, here. On the Coast Guard's efforts, and the herculean response of the maritime community in New York, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard said: WHILE THE EVENTS OF 9/11 WERE TRAGIC, OUR SERVICE CAN TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN OUR RESPONSE. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FIRST PLANE CRASHING INTO THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS NORTH TOWER, JUNIOR PERSONNEL FROM THEN-ACTIVITIES NEW YORK, THOUGH THEY WERE WITNESSING THE UNFATHOMABLE, INSTINCTIVELY RESPONDED. THEY WERE ABLE TO MEET THIS CHALLENGE BY DRAWING UPON THE LEADERSHIP, TRAINING AND CULTURE PASSED DOWN BY OVER TWO CENTURIES OF COAST GUARDSMEN. THEY ALSO LEVERAGED OUR STRONG MARITIME PARTNERSHIPS. WHEN THEY PUT OUT THE CALL FOR ALL BOATS TO RESPOND TO LOWER MANHATTAN, HUNDREDS OF MERCHANT MARINERS PILOTING TUG BOATS, FERRIES AND EVERY OTHER TYPE OF WATERBORNE CONVEYANCE FORMED A BOATLIFT THAT SAFELY EVACUATED 500,000 PEOPLE IN JUST NINE HOURS – AN AMAZING, HEROIC AND LARGELY UNKNOWN FEAT.

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