With the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks this Thursday, cable networks are airing scores of programming surrounding the tragic events. This year there are several premieres as well, documenting One World Trade Center’s construction, FDNY firefighters and NYPD heroes and even the night before the attacks. Following are six new stories on the events being told this week.
The one-hour special “Crowning New York” aired on Smithsonian Channel Sunday, September 7 at 8PM (encores include Monday, September 8, 9PM; Tuesday, September 9, 12 AM; Thursday, September 11, 10 PM). It looks at the engineering and construction of One World Trade Center and what’s entailed in erecting the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere—standing 1,776 feet tall. The channel gained access to iron workers, the beacon testing site and used production elements such as helicopters, helmet cams and GoPros to tell the story of building tallest building in the U.S. The early evolution of the tower’s conception is also recounted.
National Geographic Channel
“9/10: The Final Hours” also aired last night, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel (with an encore September 10, 9PM ET). The special features interviews from employees who worked inside the World Trade Center, those who encountered the terrorist Mohamed Atta in Portland, Maine, and a group of artists who lived and worked on the 91st and 92nd floors in the North Tower.
On Monday September 8 at 9pm, HBO will air “A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY,” a film which follows the demanding lives of the New York City fire department. First-hand accounts from veteran firefighters and former FDNY member Steve Buschemi, who produced the film as well, tell the story of the physical and mental toll such a job takes on those who take on such responsibility. The special revisits significant eras within the lifespan of the department, including the “War Years” of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the 1966 23rd Street fire, the 1990 Happy Land Social Club fire the effect of 9/11.
There’s another doc chronicling the construction of the 104-story building. Irish artist and filmmaker Marcus Robinson films, produces and directs “Rebuilding the World Trade Center,” which highlights the construction workers charged with erecting the massive structure. Premiering Thursday, September 11, at 6 PM ET/PT, this tale uses 13 cameras placed throughout the site to document 8 years of progress. Time-lapse imagery couple with personal stories of the crane operators, iron workers, carpenters and surveyors who put both heart and heft into the tower’s development.
Also on Thursday, Discovery Channel will air the one-hour special “9/11 Rescue Cops,” a tale of the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit. Never-before-viewed archival footage and new testimony tell the story of the heroes who rushed to the scene that day. Of the 31 who did so, only 17 survived. Al-Jazeera America’s Tony Harris will narrate.
American Heroes Channel
“The Hornet’s Nest” is a documentary film that follows journalists Mike Boettcher and his son, Carlos Boettcher, during Operation Strong Eagle III in 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The pair was embedded with U.S. forces at the time, so the reporting—and the tales told by the soldiers involved—include action from snipers, rescue operations and a memorial service for those who perished during the operation. The film’s TV premiere airs on the network on September 11 at 9pm.