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In 1994, November Productions' filmmaker Kevin Dornan created a multimedia tribute to firefighters from various parts of the United States. New York was the first location for the filming, and Dornan met with firefighters from across the city before choosing Mike Weinberg. Over the course of several days, Dornan recorded, both on film and in still photography, the life of a firefighter.
The project was discontinued after Dornan finished shooting New York.
Dornan only learned that Mike was killed at the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attack six months later. Dornan completed "Liberty, Courage, and Hope: The Portrait of an American Hero" as a tribute to all the first-responders whose lives were taken in rescuing victims of al-Qaeda's attacks.
What had originally been intended as a celebratory documentary of living American firefighters-is now a bittersweet remembrance of a brave soldier.
The movie trailer was not available at press time, but here is a memorial montage to Mike Weinstein.
"We as a nation need to heal, and by having even one story of hope and bravery can keep the memory our heroes with us forever," writes Mr. Dornan.
The Museum of Tolerance held the West Coast premiere of "Liberty, Courage and Hope: The Portrait of an American Hero," followed by a question-and-answer session with director Kevin Dornan on September 11th, 2014.
NYC Fireman Michael Lynch, a colleague of Weinstein flew to L.A. (in his first 9/11 since 2001 outside NYC) to participate in the event. Joining them was Lynch's colleague from Los Angeles, L.A. County Fire Chief Craig Fleetwood.
Firefighters and rescuers from Los Angeles flew on the first flight permitted during the 9/11/01 FAA ban on airplanes. Here they talk about their involvement in and reactions to the film.
In DemoCast's video interviews from the event filmmaker, Dornan, discusses his attitudes about the project and its meanings. FF Lynch relates how 9/11 is commemorated differently for firefighters and their constituents in New York over time. Chief Fleetwood Lynch explains how firefighter first responders participate in pre-positioning and allocating emergency equipment- in coordination with federal and local counter-terror intelligence- to make resources available where they might be needed, such as conspicuous public terror-target events.
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