HISTORY(R) RECOVERS ICONIC GROUND ZERO FLAG THAT DISAPPEARED AFTER 9/11
FLAG FOUND IN EVERETT, WASHINGTON
FLAG RAISED BY FIREFIGHTERS AFTER THE ATTACK ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IS BEING DONATED TO THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
AS PART OF THE HISTORY SAVES HISTORY INITIATIVE
THE HISTORY(R) SPECIAL "AMERICA'S 9/11 FLAG: RISE FROM THE ASHES" CHRONICLING THE STORY OF THE FLAG'S DISCOVERY AND RETURN TO NEW YORK
PREMIERES SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 AT 10:30PM ET/PT
September 7, 2016 - New York - The iconic American flag that was raised by three New York City firefighters at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, and later disappeared, has been recovered in Everett, WA. The announcement was made jointly by Jana Bennett, President & General Manager of HISTORY, and Joe Daniels, President of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
With the participation of the flag's original owner Shirley Dreifus, in honor of her late husband Spiros E. Kopelakis, and in cooperation with Chubb, the global insurance company, the flag will be donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York as part of the new HISTORY Saves History initiative. The flag will be exhibited at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum starting September 8th.
September 11, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA.
HISTORY(R) chronicles the story of the flag's recovery and journey back to New York in the special "America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes," featuring best-selling author Brad Meltzer and premiering on Sunday, September 11 at 10:30pm ET/PT. The recovery of the flag is the inaugural project under the new HISTORY Saves History initiative. The effort reflects the network's commitment to identifying and preserving history that is at risk of being lost or forgotten, and making these stories accessible to audiences.
"We are honored that HISTORY has been able to play a role in the recovery and return of the Ground Zero Flag, an important national symbol," said Bennett. "The story of how the flag was found, authenticated and returned to New York is one of the great modern day mysteries solved. Programs like 'America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes' are an example of HISTORY's commitment to commemorating the events that unfolded on and after 9/11, as well as the stories of individuals who witnessed or played a role in the events of that day."
"In the hours it seemed our country had lost all hope, this American flag raising above the rubble helped reaffirm that the nation would endure, would recover and rebuild, and that we would always remember and honor those who lost their lives and those who risked their own to save others," 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said. "We had always hoped this special flag would be experienced by the millions of visitors traveling each year to the museum. We are thankful to Shirley Dreifus, the city of Everett, HISTORY, A+E Networks, and Chubb Insurance for this donation."
Since the opening, the Museum has displayed a large photograph of the three firefighters lifting the flag as part of its historical exhibition.
The raising of the Ground Zero Flag by three New York City firefighters on September 11th amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center was captured in a photograph by Thomas E. Franklin of The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and circulated widely. The image captured the fortitude of first responders and became a symbol of hope and rebuilding in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
The flag had been taken from the yacht Star of America, owned by Shirley Dreifus and Spiros E. Kopelakis, which was docked at the World Financial Center. Later, a different flag that was believed to have been the original flag, was displayed in Yankee Stadium and assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt on a mission to Afghanistan after 9/11. However, what most people did not realize was that the original flag had actually been lost.
The story of the flag was chronicled in an October 2014 episode of the HISTORY series "Brad Meltzer's Lost History," produced by the production company Left/Right. Shortly after the broadcast, an anonymous individual delivered a flag that he claimed to be the original Ground Zero Flag to a fire station in Everett, WA. The City of Everett contacted HISTORY and Left/Right, and Everett Police detectives began a forensic investigation. Based on the City's findings and additional analysis by their own experts, HISTORY and Left/Right were able to definitively conclude that this is in fact the Ground Zero Flag. Chubb, which had insured Ms. Dreifus's yacht and paid a claim on the lost flag, joined her in donating to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum their respective title to and interest in the recovered flag.
"Our officers and detectives do incredible work on a daily basis, whether they're handling a routine case or an investigation with significant historical implications," said Mayor Ray Stephanson. "We're honored to have played a role in this mystery, and we're pleased that the flag will be preserved for all those impacted by the tragic events of September 11, 2001."
Featuring best-selling author and HISTORY host Brad Meltzer, the special "America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes" documents the discovery of the Ground Zero Flag, uncovering the mystery of its disappearance, and documenting the tests that prove its authenticity. The documentary covers the investigation by the Everett Police Department, whose dedication helped to bring the flag back to the public. "America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes" was produced by Left/Right, whose work was critical in finding the flag. Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, and Brad Meltzer serve as Executive Producers for Left/Right. Co-Executive Producers for Left/Right are Michael Mezaros and Tim McConville. Michael Stiller is Executive Producer for HISTORY.
About National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the nonprofit organization that oversees operations for the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum remember and honor the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Memorial plaza design consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers surrounded by white oak trees. The Museum displays more than 10,000 personal and monumental objects linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the attacks and aftermath. It also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance through education programs, public programs, live talks and film features that cover contemporary topics for diverse audiences. For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, please visit www.911memorial.org.
LEFT/RIGHT has produced hundreds of hours of television in an extraordinarily eclectic mix of genres ranging from hard-hitting documentaries to side-splitting comedies, and everything in between. Past and present projects range from This American Life (Showtime), the Emmy Award-winning television adaptation of the popular public radio show... to The Circus (Showtime), a documentary series about the 2016 Presidential election...to the scripted comedy Odd Mom Out (Bravo). In addition to scripted and unscripted television series, the company's documentary unit produces features and specials for a variety of networks, including History, PBS, Discovery, and many others. Our shows have been nominated for over a dozen Emmy Awards and have won multiple awards, including the Emmy for Best Nonfiction Series. Left/Right is part of the Red Arrow Entertainment Group, an international production and distribution company. For more information, visit www.leftright.tv.
HISTORY(R), now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network's all-original programming slate features a roster of signature series including "Pawn Stars," "American Pickers," "The Curse of Oak Island," "Alone" as well as the hit drama series "Vikings." The HISTORY website is located at history.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/history and Facebook at facebook.com/history.