Like the morning of the attack on Pearl Harbor or the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, anyone old enough remembers where they were the morning of September 11, 2001. The memories, almost a decade later, are still as vivid and the feelings of horror and grief lurk just below the surface. For all time, 9/11 will be shrouded in such profound sadness and sense of loss.
At 8:46 am (EST), the Today Show broke the news: “We have a breaking news story to tell you about. Apparently, a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center here in New York City. It happened just a few minutes ago. We have very little information at this point in time.” In a matter of hours, thousands of Americans lost their lives to coordinated acts of terrorism, forever changing the fabric of their families, a nation, and the world.
As with most tragedies of this scale, it provides a glimpse of mankind’s capacity for goodness as well as evil. Soon after the events of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani (mayor of New York City at the time) wrote: “In the aftermath of this unimaginable tragedy, New Yorkers, and all Americans, have united as never before. Inspired by countless examples of courage and generosity, we have met the worst of humanity with the best of humanity.”
In honor of the victims and heroes of 9/11, Bookshelf presents the best books on 9/11. May we never forget.
102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, Times Books (2012)
9/11 Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes: NYC – The First Battle in the War Against Terror! by Col. Will G. Merrill Jr., CreateSpace (2011)
A Nation Challenged: A Visual History of 9/11 and Its Aftermath Hardcover by Nancy Lee , Lonnie Schlein, Mitchel Levitas (2002)
A Place of Remembrance: Official Book of the National September 11 Memorial (9/11 Memorial) by Allison Blais, National Geographic (2011, revised 2015)
LIFE One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001, 10 Years Later Hardcover by the Editors of Life Magazine, Little, Brown and Co. (2011)
New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers; Introduction by David Halberstam, Powerhouse Books (2001)
Reluctant Hero: A 9/11 Survivor Speaks Out About That Unthinkable Day, What He’s Learned, How He’s Struggled, and What No One Should Ever Forget by Michael Benfante and Dave Hollander, Skyhorse (2011)
The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 by Anthony Summers, Ballantine Books (2012)
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright, Vintage (2007)
September Morning: Ten Years of Poems and Readings from the 9/11 Ceremonies New York City by Sara Lukinson and Michael Bloomberg (2012)
Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 by Damon DiMarco, Thomas Kean, Santa Monica Press (2007)