Creator of 9/11 documentary says he wants to help younger generations understand impact of attacks
A New Jersey native’s documentary about the Sept. 11 attacks shows how the people of Manhattan reacted on that day.
When he heard about the attacks, David Vanadia grabbed his camcorder, left his Manhattan apartment and followed his curiosity toward ground zero. He spent hours on the streets recording what he saw.
“Everybody was in shock and when people are in shock, they behave in different ways. We all have different ways of dealing with trauma,” Vanadia says.
His hourlong documentary "My 9/11" shows the panic and the confusion and the ways in which people struggled to process the horror. It also shows how quickly rumors about the attack spread through word of mouth.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: 9/11 - 20 Years Later
But for Vanadia, a writer from Parsippany, the documentary is a reminder of how one sees that day through a different lens 20 years later.
“We have such a context for that event and so we’re watching it in a very different way than experiencing it where we didn’t know anything,” he says.
It was 10 years after the attack before Vanadia even put the story together. He was 31 years old at the time of the attack. Now at age 51, Vanadia says that reliving 9/11 is painful.
“It puts me right back in that place,” he says. “And so to be back in that place, sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can’t.”
Vanadia says that he considers himself fortunate. He knows that many are still suffering because of those events. He says that he hopes that his footage will help a new generation have a better understanding of Sept. 11.
"My 9/11" can be viewed on Vanadia's website.