September 12, 2011

Cantor Fitzgerald & The Names On The 9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial opened to the public yesterday and there is one company whose names take up almost two entire walls on the north tower void, Cantor Fitzgerald.  On 9/11, they lost 658 employees which was more than two-thirds of the company, whose headquarters were on the top five floors of Tower 1.  They suffered the largest loss of life for any single entity on that horrible day and they account for nearly a quarter of all those who died in the terrorist attacks in NY, PA, and DC.

Because of this, Cantor played a unique role in the memorial. They strongly advocated for the names to be placed above ground (the initial plan had them underground) and they made sure that all the names were arranged in proximity to the the deceased's friends and colleagues at work, as opposed to alphabetical arrangement.  It took some work with computer algorithms to make this happen but in the end it is the most fitting and moving way for the names to be displayed.

For the last few years, I've been working as an Associate Producer on a feature-length documentary that tells the incredible story of this company's loss and survival. It's called OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY (directed by Danielle Gardner,whose brother worked at Cantor) and should be hitting the festival circuit in 2012.  I spent the 10th anniversary yesterday shooting their beautiful memorial service in Central Park, attended by Hillary Clinton and with music provided by the New York Pops.  When you see all those people, more than a thousand, gathered in one place to remember their loved ones, the loss is both overwhelming and inspiring.  It was a day, like 9/11 itself, that I will not soon forget...

1 comment:

  1. This film sounds amazing. When is it coming out and where can we see it?

    All best,