After ten years, the images of that day continue to hold us in their grip, the planes crashing through the towers, the devastation, the tragedy of loved ones lost. It’s said that time heals but the wounds 9/11 rendered remain with us to this day, which is why on each anniversary of the event we feel compelled to remember not only the horror of that day but the heroism and humanity as well.
Over the next couple of weeks, there will be many televised remembrances of that day. It’s likely that The Smithsonian Channel’s contributions will be considered among the most evocative and thoroughly researched of them all.
There are intimate accounts from Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as well as rare footage of President Bush working in Air Force One and the Washington underground “bunker.” Be warned: the footage of the devastation is harrowing and will surely bring back those feelings of horror and disbelief that struck you when you first saw the planes hit the towers.
9/11: Stories In Fragments takes a slightly different look at the day and its aftermath, telling the story through objects found at the scenes of the devastation: a flight attendant’s flight log, a BlackBerry, twisted debris from the planes.
These items were donated for inclusion in a special exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the stories behind these objects are strangely uplifting. It’s as if these victims of 9/11 live on in what they’ve left behind, compelling us to never forget how life changed irrevocably on September 11, 2001.
The Smithsonian Channel’s 9/11 programming premieres on Monday, September 5 at 8pm ET.