Veteran-owned and operated Nine Line Apparel released their self-produced documentary highlighting various perspectives the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The documentary, titled “Unshaken Courage: A September 11th Tribute” features former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and FDNY firefighter and Army veteran Patrick Dowdell, all three of whom are interviewed by Nine Line Apparel employee Zac Scalf, a three-time deployed combat veteran.
Tyler Merritt, CEO and co-founder of Nine Line Apparel, told American Military News on Wednesday, “We created this documentary with the intention sharing four different perspectives of the tragic events of 9/11 and reminding the American people of those we lost and those who are still affected to this day.”
“One of our main initiatives for this tribute piece was to remind the American people that ‘Men Do Not Die Until They are Forgotten,'” Nine Line Apparel manager and the documentary’s executive producer, Kaila Donaldson, told American Military News. “We want to keep all of those we lost, alive.”
The video covers Kerik’s raw perspective as a responder, from witnessing “dozens” of bodies from jumping victims escaping the burning towers, to his escape from Building 7 along with then-mayor Rudy Giuliani and other city officials.
“I remember walking into that lobby and looking outside, and you could not see anything outside. It was pure white. It was like somebody took a sheet and put it in front of the window. I thought, what is that? What’s out there? What happened? Was it a nuclear blast?” Kerik recounted.
When he got outside, Kerik said it was completely silent.
“No more sirens, no birds, no car horns, no city sound. No sound period,” Kerik said. “It was just like somebody stuck you in a soundproof booth. That’s how condensed this dust, gas, and soot was. It took out all sound.”
Hannity recounted the moment he learned of the attacks, adding that he immediately knew it was terrorism. “I knew instantly,” Hannity said. “Terrorism is real.”
“It just awakens you to what the really dark side of the human experience can show, and then it shows you lightest side, the brightest side, the best out of people,” Hannity explained, adding that he’ll never forget how businesses came together to support first responders by offering free meals and more.
Dowdell, the son of FDNY Lt. Kevin Dowdell, described how his family’s slow revelation of his father’s death, and the painstaking attempts – along with his brother – to recover any remains or possessions of his father’s.
“We dug until May until the floor was broom swept and there was nothing else to look through, and unfortunately, we didn’t find any remains,” Dowdell recounted, adding that they found only their father’s “halligan,” a firefighter’s tool, confirmed by the engraving of his initials.
“A lot of first responders died because they knew people were still in those buildings and they wanted them out, and it just shows you the dedication, the perseverance, the courage, the heroism that was involved,” Kerik said.
“For those men and women that stayed down here and continued on in the rescue and recovery efforts, that’s heroism that I don’t think has ever been replicated,” Kerik added. “Hopefully we don’t ever have to see it again.”
The experiences exposed the unique perspectives of three figures playing different roles in their navigation of the attacks, but together add to the large picture of devastation experienced on that day.
“We want to ensure that no one ever forgets what happened to our country on September 11, 2001. Being the 18th anniversary of the attacks, we find the younger generation unable to fathom the fear and grief we all felt that day. We want to remind every American that this was a very real tragedy with lasting detrimental effects for all involved,” Merritt told American Military News.
“We will never forget these despicable acts of terrorism and we pray we never experience this again,” Merritt said.