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September 9th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Remembering 9/11

From CNN Presents producer Cliff Hackel:

We have a saying in broadcasting that a show is never really over - even after it airs.

In 2005, I was part of a team for a documentary called CNN Presents – Twists of Fate. These were unusual stories that came out of the 9/11 tragedy. My part of the show was about a Mary Chapin Carpenter song that was inspired by an iron worker. Jim Horch was cleaning out the debris of Ground Zero and, like many other workers there, felt the presence of energy left behind.

When Mary Chapin Carpenter heard Jim Horch’s tale, she was compelled to write a song called “Grand Central Station.” It ended up on her CD, “Between Here and Gone.” When I heard the song, I knew it would make a great story for television.

The trouble was neither Mary Chapin nor Jim wanted to appear on CNN. Jim felt the audience would think he was crazy while Mary Chapin was concerned I would force an awkward meeting between the two with the cameras rolling.

It took some arm twisting. I told Jim I wouldn’t use any answer that he wasn’t happy with. I told Mary Chapin there would be no surprises during her interview. Jim wasn’t going to jump out from behind the curtain in a Jerry Springer moment. They agreed to go on camera.

I was pleased the way the story turned out. I was even able shoot some of it myself. The ghost-like images at Grand Central Station were from a small consumer camera with a setting almost made for this song.

So, with all the recounting of sadness surrounding 9/11, I thought I would resurrect an uplifting piece. It’s one of my all time favorites.

Meet the everyday citizens who went to work on September 11, 2001, and unwittingly became a part of history. Watch CNN Presents "Footnotes of 9/11" on Sunday, September 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET. 



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