Remembering 9/11: 20 Years Later

There are so many dimensions to the memories of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. But I didn’t realize exactly how many dimensions until I began curating these links. I’ve tried to include links that cover the breadth of the dimensions of that day as we all sit with our own thoughts and remembrances.

Best 9/11 Books

Five Books is a website that features lists of recommended books by experts in many different fields. This page includes lists that cover many dimensions of 9/11 with topics such as literature, terrorism, and Osama bin Laden.

‘Get out now’ – inside the White House on 9/11, according to the staffers who were there

Anita McBride, Fellow in Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, Department of Government, at American University, was in the White House that day. She describes her experiences here.

At the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ancient Greece and Rome can tell us a lot about the links between collective trauma and going to war

Joel Christensen, now professor of Classical Studies at Brandeis University, was “in Washington Square Park at 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001 – less than a mile from the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.” 

Today, as a scholar of Greek literature who studies narrative and memory, I see how this collective trauma shaped U.S. actions and has affected Americans’ vision of their identities and shared history – a feedback loop that is reflected in the myths and histories of ancient Greece.

Pascal Campion’s “9/11: Then and Now”

“The New Yorker’s art editor remembers twenty years of September 11th covers.”

 Dread, War and Ambivalence: Literature Since the Towers Fell

The events of 9/11 irrevocably changed the course of global affairs. They also changed culture. It will likely be easier to say how a century from now. But with 20 years’ hindsight, The Times’s book critics reflect below on some of the influence of that day on the writing that has followed.

“Sept. 11 accelerated a trend, already long in motion, toward opening American fiction to formerly marginalized voices,” writes Dwight Garner.

Jennifer Szalai says 9/11 produced “fictional treatments of identity that had to do with uncertainty, instability, precariousness — depicting ambivalence as an irreducible part of the human condition.”

How 9/11 altered the fiction landscape in 13 novels

Ron Charles writes in the Washington Post, “within a few years, it was clear that 9/11 would leave an impact on contemporary fiction as deep as its impact on every other aspect of our culture.” He discusses 13 novels that present “a sense of the wide variety of approaches writers have taken over the past two decades” to address the significance of the terrorist attacks.

20 ways 9/11 changed life, the U.S. and the world in the past 20 years

UPI looks at 20 aspects of ways in which the events of 20 years ago have affected our lives, including airport security, creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the shift in war powers toward the executive branch of government.

Tuesday, and After

New Yorker writers respond to 9/11.”

From the September 24, 2001, issue of The New Yorker. Entries by the following authors: John Updike, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Roger Angell, Aharon Appelfeld, Rebecca Mead, Susan Sontag, Amitav Ghosh, and Donald Antrim.

I Talked to My Twin Brother Every Morning for 27 Years. Right Up Until 9/11.

Pamela Bittner describes the loss of her twin brother on 9/11. She was talking with her father on the phone when “we watched together in horror as Flight 175 crashed into my brother’s office building between floors 75 and 85. He worked on the 89th floor.”

Thousands suffer health effects of Ground Zero’s toxic dust 20 years after 9/11 attacks

A new World Trade Center stands in lower Manhattan 20 years after Sept. 11, 2001, but thousands of people who were there that day — from first responders hoping to save lives to people who were just on their daily commute — continue to feel health effects linked to the terrorist attack.

A Port of Seattle firefighter created a 9/11 memorial at Seattle-Tacoma airport to honor fallen first responders

I include this article from a local (to me) newspaper to emphasize the national character of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And the included story of the “set up a welcome center to connect Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban takeover of Kabul with resettlement resources and nonprofits when they arrive at Sea-Tac” Airport emphasizes the continuing need for global understanding and compassion.

© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown