A little after 1 p.m. Monday, downtown New Orleans came to a stand still. Everyone seemed to stop and look up in Lafayette Park. Family, friends and strangers came together if only for a moment.

"I hope this event unites people instead of divides people," Jose Carias said.

Though the eclipse was fleeting, people wanted to capture it forever.

"I'm not gonna get a chance to see one again probably," Carias said.

Photographer Zach Smith came out just for the photo opportunities.

"Being able to photograph a solar eclipse is truly something special," Smith said.

Those trying to save the moment on their cell phones had more difficulty.

"It works a little bit," Kaitlyn Lowe said. "Now that it's more covered I got a tiny picture of the moon over the sun but now I'm just getting blurs."

When it worked though, the result was spectacular.

"When you photograph something like that it brings us in touch with the fact that we're apart of this huge system and that connects us as humans," Smith said.

For 30 minutes people sat side by side sharing glasses and sharing a moment that for many, won't come again. When it was over, these new friends packed up their bags and parted ways. Forever connected by a shared experience.

"We're all viewing this at the same time," Smith said. "It was pretty wonderful."