Tyler native Aaron Hinds was living in New York, trying to break in as an artist last September. His day job was as a mercantile trader at the World Trade Center. On the morning of September eleventh, his alarm inexplicably failed to go off. "My alarm just didn't go off," Hinds explained. "It was weird, it was set, everything was a go. I'm pretty sure God didn't want me in the building."
Late for work, Aaron was coming up under the World Trade Center as the first plane made impact. "People started flooding down the escalators and out the elevators, and all Hell broke loose and people started running," he said. Aaron escaped the scene, and tried to lend a hand.
Inspired by the moment, he chose to try and capture the heroic efforts of the rescue workers. "I went and bought a huge canvas," Hinds said, "and lugged all my paints and easel down to Clarkson Street and the Westside Highway and just prayed and started painting."
As he painted, crowds gathered. Aaron captured in his sketch book the insignias of the different organizations risking their lives for the people of New York. Three days later, he finished his "Ode To Heroes."
Aaron decided to donate his work, and offered it to the Museum of the City of New York. His painting was chosen out of hundreds of pieces. "I don't think it was recognized as a piece of art," Hinds said, "but more of the capturing of the effort."