It was 2001 when the United States was left in grief after the horrific act of terrorism and the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City on 9/11. The downtown area of Manhattan was left in a cloud of smoke and debris, and 2,996 people were killed (including 19 terrorists). In all this destruction and chaos, one woman noticed something pretty unusual just a few blocks away from Ground Zero. Discovering a wedding photo made her begin the 13-year-old search for the possibly-alive people on the photo. Her mystery was solved three years ago, and the Internet just can’t forget about it.
In the photo, there are five friends smiling into a camera at a wedding that had just taken place in Aspen, Colorado. Two of the friends are obviously the bride and groom. Overwhelmed, the woman gave the photo to her friend, Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, and asked her to “do something meaningful with it.”
Elizabeth, who is a college professor, took the photo and decided to find the people in this picture. For the next 13 years, Elizabeth searched for any of the friends photographed. She actually didn’t even know whether they were dead or alive.
Elizabeth decided to use any and all platforms to broaden her search on the social media. So, every year on September 11th, Elizabeth would post a snapshot of the found photo on all social media sites. She was hoping that she will find at least one of the photographed people and return the picture.
In the last four years alone, the repeated post was shared over 35,000 times on Twitter only. Elizabeth’s mission was shared on multiple websites and it went viral.
However, despite all the exposure, years passed and no one called. Elizabeth always came up empty-handed no matter how tirelessly she worked.
Then, in September 2014, Elizabeth received a message online from someone named Fred Mahe. The mystery was finally solved. He said he had seen her post of the photo, and he was one of the people in the picture. Fred was actually the man in the photo staring directly at the camera.
Elizabeth met Fred for the first time at Fox&Friends on tv and Fred said the last time he saw that photo, it was on his desk on the 77th floor of the second World Center tower, 13 years ago.
“Elizabeth has almost single-handled restored our faith in humanity,” Fred told Fox. “Her efforts over the last 13 years have just been amazing.”
Although nothing could possibly bring the victims back, this touching story is a wonderful representation of the hope for humanity.
Watch the whole story in the video below:
Here are some rarely seen photos of the 9/11 attack.