The National September 11 Memorial: Paul Simon Performs The Sounds of Silence

The National September 11 Memorial

It was a day of quiet grace and open grief, a time for solemnity, reflection and togetherness. The National September 11 Memorial was commemorated today not with the cutting of a ribbon, but with the ringing of a bell, the same bell that had clanged for the past nine years, calling out the impacts of those four planes, the collapse of those twin towers. Paul Simon performed The Sounds of Silence in front of the families of 9/11 victims at Ground Zero, an appearance that was part of the observances for the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City. Simon’s performance was described as perhaps the most moving moment of the ceremony.

Remembering 9/11: Paul Simon Performs Sings The Sounds of Silence

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Remembering the Heroes: The Flight 93 National Memorial

Remembering the Heroes: The Flight 93 National Memorial

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, the U.S. came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Three of the planes hijacked by al-Qaeda on that day hit their high-profile targets: the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives. Because of the actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93, who fought back against their hijackers, an intended attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice-President Biden, state officials, bereaved relatives, artists and members of the public gathered Saturday to open a 1,500-acre national park on the outskirts of Shanksville (PA) that includes the partially completed Flight 93 National Memorial, in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93.

The dedication of the memorial on Saturday, provided an opportunity for the two former presidents to appeal for unity. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton specifically mentioned the fractured state of relations in Washington. But their sharing of a stage and their comments here in the field where Flight 93 slammed into the ground stood in sharp contrast to the current state of divisive political discord.

Dedication of the New Shanksville Memorial

Former President Bill Clinton: Dedication of The Flight 93 National Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial in The Making

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A Tribute of Remembrance and Honor: The National September 11 Memorial

A Tribute of Remembrance and Honor: The National September 11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood.

Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

The National September 11 Memorial (Animation)

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September 11: Never Forget

September 11: Never Forget

The disaster that occurred on September 11, 2001 was the worst in the history of New York City. Not only were nearly 3,000 people killed in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on that morning; they were victims of a premeditated act of mass murder that pioneered the use of hijacked passenger jets as suicide bombs and then reordered and distorted the decade that followed.

For those in the immediate vicinity, the horror was immediate and unmistakable; it occurred in what we have learned to call real time, and in real space. Those farther away, whether a few dozen blocks or halfway around the world, witnessed the horrors through the long lens of television.The sense of grief and shock, a terrible roaring in the mind of every American, made it impossible to assess the larger damage that Osama bin Laden and his fanatics had inflicted, the extent to which they had succeeded in shattering our self-possession. In the years after 9/11, many still can hardly erase the vision of the wreckage of the two towers, the twisted steel and sheets of glass, the images of men and women leaping from ninety-odd stories up and the knowledge that thousands lay beneath the ruined buildings.

The New York Times has assembled and posted more than two hours of military, air traffic, and airline radio communications, some of it never before heard in public, from the morning of September 11, 2001. Threaded into vivid narratives covering each of the four doomed airliners, the multimedia document contains 114 recordings of air traffic controllers, military aviation officers, airline and fighter jet pilots, as well as two of the hijackers, stretching across two hours of that that morning. It is depressing, but totally engrossing and fascinating. Viewers may listen to the complete audio collection here.

A Look Back at How September 11 Unfolded

Remembering Father Mychal Judge, The Saint of 9/11

On Sunday, September 4th, marchers turned out by the hundreds in New York City to honor the memory of the Rev. Mychal Judge, the beloved FDNY chaplain killed on 9/11. Firefighters and their families, friends of the Franciscan priest, and well-wishers from near and far, all came together for a four-hour Walk of Remembrance through the streets of Manhattan. Father Judge, commemorated as The Saint of 9/11, was killed while giving last rites to a firefighter at the World Trade Center. The group walked from midtown to Ground Zero, stopping at firehouses and police precincts along the way to pray and read the names of the 9/11 dead.

The Saint of 9/11 (Full Version of the Movie)

Photo-Gallery: September 11/Never Forget

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On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11: Tribute in Light

On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11: Tribute in Light

On March 11, 2002, 88 searchlights were trained straight skyward in two brilliant, four-mile-high beams. They were two of the most powerful beams of light ever created, illuminating the New York night, visible throughout the city and up to 60 miles away. Relief workers nearby, who had been plowing through rubble for six months, stood and wept. The art installation was both an act of commemoration and a symbol of resilience. It was the first attempt to fill the void in the city’s skyline and it neatly bypassed the debate over whether the site should be rebuilt or left as consecrated ground. The tribute ran every night from dusk till dawn until April 14, 2002, and has returned for a single night each subsequent September 11th.

The World Trade Center 9/11 Tribute in Light

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Photo-Gallery: The World Trade Center 9/11 Tribute in Light

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Ironworkers at One World Trade Center: The Sky Cowboys

Photography by: Damon Winter, NYC

Ironworkers at One World Trade Center: The Sky Cowboys

The best view in New York belongs to the fearless ironworkers who are stacking the top floors of the new 1 World Trade Center. The top of 1 World Trade Center, as it stands in mid-August, is just shy of 1,000 feet above Lower Manhattan, higher than anything else on the island’s southern end.

Even among the most elite class of ironworkers that specializes in raising high steel, the 40 or so men who are performing the most dangerous work at 1 World Trade are a kind of special forces. Some of them were among the first wave of volunteers on Sept. 12, 2001, brought in to extract steel from the ruins of the twin towers and who have returned to the site as members of the plumb-up gang. The ironworkers’ almost classically curved human forms of arms, legs and backs express the perseverance that has powered the rise of this new tower, a structure whose symbolic importance is undisputed even if its cost and commercial justification remain dubious.

Viewers can read more about the Ironworkers in the Sky in The New York Times here.

Ironworkers at One World Trade Center: The Sky Cowboys

Photo-Gallery: Ironworkers of the Sky

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The 10th anniversary of 9/11: The StoryCorps 9/11 Series

The 10th anniversary of 9/11: The StoryCorps 9/11 Series

Public Television’s StoryCorps oral history project is premiering The StoryCorps 9/11 Series, three new animated films commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The three-minute animated short films by the Rausch Brothers animators were created to preserve the memories of those who lost loved ones that tragic day. While the films are presented in a vintage cartoon-style, they carry deeply emotional heft due to the tragedy inherent in their stories. They are simple works, befitting the everyday lives that were nonetheless changed forever nearly 10 years ago. A major reason that 9/11 is such a tragedy is that it happened to people not unlike you or me, and these films do an amazing job of crystallizing that central truth.

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: John and Joe

John Vigiano Jr. was a firefighter and his brother Joe was a police detective. On September 11, 2001, both Vigiano brothers responded to the call from the World Trade Center, and both were killed while saving the lives of others.

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: John and Joe

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: Always a Family

On the morning of September 11th, Michael Trinidad called his ex-wife, Monique Ferrer, from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower to say a final goodbye.

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: Always a Family

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: She Was the One

Richard Pecorella remembers the love of his life, Karen Juday, a secretary for Cantor Fitzgerald, who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks.

The StoryCorps 9/11 Series: She Was the One

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