Girl Scout captures emotional first-person stories for 9/11 documentary
SOUTHOLD, N.Y. - A Girl Scout from Suffolk County has spent years working on a documentary about Sept. 11, 2001, that tells the stories of people who were impacted on that tragic day.
The stories are harrowing accounts told by survivors, filmed and produced by Ellie Alloway for her documentary titled "Ripples: 9/11 Reflections from the North Fork, NY."
"There are some really emotional stories, there are some people that knew other people sent in to help with cleanup," she said. "Others who were actually at the pile, some people who all their coworkers died."
Ellie combined her passion for film with her empathy about the Sept. 11 attacks. The 16-year-old wasn't even born when so much of the world changed forever.
"My uncle's first girlfriend, unfortunately, died in the Twin Towers," she said. "My neighbor just across the way, he managed to run out there when his boss went to grab his jacket and never made it back out."
The documentary is a culmination of two years of research, interviews, and editing as part of Ellie's Girl Scouts Gold Award project — the highest national award a Girl Scout can receive.
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The documentary will be premiering on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in Peconic.
"For a lot of people they had never told anyone what had happened to themselves for 20 years," Ellie said.
She has spoken to school administrators on the North Fork and hopes to get her documentary shown as part of the 9/11 curriculum taught in high school social studies classes.
"I really want people to understand that this happened," she said. "This was a thing and this is how it impacts family members, neighbors, and you."
She has logged well over 100 hours and driven a couple of hundred miles with her mom, Nicole, since she's still too young to get her license.
"When you listen to enough people, you feel like you gain a part of them," Ellie said. "I have souls in me right now. I'm one big mosaic of a human being."
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