Former Assistant Chief of The New York City Fire Department Joseph Pfeifer is among the first responders who have been celebrated and commemorated for their brave actions during the 9/11 attacks. Now, on the historical event’s 20th anniversary, Pfeifer says there’s a “new generation of heroes” worth honoring.
During a TCA panel, where he joined fellow 9/11 first responders and survivors Ron DiFrancesco and Jason Thomas, and the producing team of National Geographic’s 9/11: One Day In America, Pfeifer recalled seeing firefighters applaud medical staffers who were on the front-lines of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was the moment where 9/11 met the pandemic,” the former NYFD chief said. “We saw a new generation of heroes. So while we feel things are falling apart we have to take a look where we feel this sense of being together.”
Pfeifer’s stories and memories of resilience are among those that make up 9/11: One Day In America, a six-part series that chronicles the events of that 2001 day from the perspectives of first responders and survivors. The series takes a deep dive into the heroism prompted by 9/11 and the tragic day’s lasting impact. The series will air over four consecutive nights beginning August 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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The Nat Geo project seeks to center the human experiences of the 2001 historical event, instead of analyzing how the attack happened in the first place, for a deeply personal and humanistic approach, executive producer Dan Lindsay said.
The creative team sorted through at least 1,000 hours of interviews with at least 54 interviewees over the course of three years to reach the final product, series producer Caroline Marsden said. Each of the producers have their own memory of the 9/11 attacks but wanted to ensure that the voices of those who were in the heat of the chaos had a chance to share their own.
“The primary goal is us to get out of the way and create a conduit and a space for that experienced it first hand,” said executive producer T.J. Martin. “It’s to look at human resilience and human fragility and everything in that space and for us that always felt distinctively different from anything we’ve seen on 9/11.”
9/11: One Day In America was developed and executive produced by Emmy Award-winning 72 Films (Inside North Korea’s Dynasty) and Emmy and Academy Award-winning EPs Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin (LA 92, Undefeated).
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