Living 9/11

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ten years after the World Trade Center attacks, WNYC's 10th Anniversary Special explores New Yorkers’ most visceral and immediate emotional reactions to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and how they are – and are not - still with us today.

Fear and shock, grief and guilt, anger, gratitude and solidarity - these emotions overwhelmed many New Yorkers along with the billowing cloud of smoke and debris after the Towers collapsed. WNYC’s news team spent days, months, and then years reporting on the attacks and their aftermath.

Through a mix of their recordings at the time and interviews with people ten years later, WNYC reporter Marianne McCune guides us through the stories of people who were directly impacted by what happened and have been struggling for a decade to make sense of it.

Airs on WNYC at the following times:

Thursday, September 8 at 8pm on 93.9FM
Saturday, September 10 at 10am on 93.9FM
Saturday, September 10 at 2pm on AM820
Sunday, September 11 at 4pm on 93.9FM
Sunday, September 11 at 8pm on AM820

Living 9/11 was produced by Marianne McCune and Emily Botein and edited by Karen Frillmann. Chris Bannon was the Executive Producer. John Ellis composed the music. Engineers Paul Schneider and Jim Briggs III mixed the special. Fred Mogul, Beth Fertig, Courtney Stein and Radio Rookies Eric Leinung, Jillian Suarez, Erin Reeg and Norhan Basuni recorded interviews for Living 9/11 (with help from Rookies producers Courtney Stein, Sanda Htyte and Kaari Pitkin). Thanks to Andy Lanset and WNYC's archives.

Distributed by PRX.


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Comments [13]

Alberto Reyes from New York


Sep. 11 2011 12:21 PM
Alberto reyes from 10021

Sep. 11 2011 12:17 PM
alan roth from Brooklyn

As a documentary filmmaker, when I saw the first tower on fire on TV, I grabbed a small video camera and went up to my roof (I live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn). I watched for a moment, shocked, as the second plane flew into the other tower and a ball of fire appeared. I quickly turned on my camera, then biked TO the city to keep shooting, and I continued shooting what I experienced in the city the next day and the next....In many ways, the act of documenting was my own therapy.
I decided to make public most of the raw footage with the minimal editing. Its available here:

Sep. 11 2011 09:33 AM
Ms. Dimple from Jersey City, NJ

Today, I am participating in the observance of Paryushan, it is the final day of Das Laxshan Vrat. It is a period of atonement, seeking forgiveness for knowing or unknowing harm committed through thought or deed. It is a Digambar Jain holy period. I'm thankful to be spending the day with family and extended family at the mandir.

Sep. 11 2011 08:49 AM
Ms. Dimple from Jersey City, NJ

Today, I am participating in the observance of Paryushan, it is the final day of Das Laxshan Vrat. It is a period of atonement, seeking forgiveness for knowing or unknowing harm committed through thought or deed. It is a Digambar Jain holy period. I'm thankful to be spending the day with family and extended family at the mandir.

Sep. 11 2011 08:48 AM
Ash in Chelsea

I will not observe a 9/11 anniversary. I will tolerate it.

It is 8:40 am and I am about to get my bike and head for the bike path on the glorious Hudson River Park. I will follow my usual route: Down from 29th Street to Battery Park City (if I'm not prevented from doing so by security forces).

I will then turn around, head back up to Chelsea and get on with my life.

Sep. 11 2011 08:43 AM
Dirk Stanley from Northampton, MA

Thanks to Marianne and Beth for amazing reporting that day, and thanks for putting this piece together. It still upsets me that we saw the most beautiful things juxtaposed with the most horrific things, but I suppose that's the lesson of 9/11. I like to think we can remember those we lost by remembering how well we all worked together that day.

Sep. 10 2011 10:46 PM
A from NYC

Thank you for this lovely piece of remembrance. I've been trying to avoid the hyped-up media coverage of the anniversary, but I couldn't turn this off.

Sep. 10 2011 11:05 AM

Amazing piece weaving together so many moving stories. A wonderful way to observe the 9/11 anniversary. Thank you.

Sep. 10 2011 10:30 AM
cynyc from Downtown Manhattan


Yeah I'm hypervigilant. I was a WTC initial responder. I don't need to listen to the radio to hear all about it. In fact I was just going to turn it off then ran into this.


"I want to tell my story
said one of them so bold"
"Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" by Leonard Cohen

Sep. 08 2011 08:15 PM
cynyc from Manhattan

how about the terror threat BBC news is breaking?????

Sep. 08 2011 08:09 PM
Vic from .

What have we got here...(?) in LIVING 9/11 >>
MORE_... "Smoke & Deception"

It's about time we wake up & look into the mirror.

Sep. 03 2011 06:10 PM

Three events have always defined 9/11 for me.

1. On 9/11, my son was at Borough of Manhattan Community College, just a few blocks from Ground Zero. As I watched the towers collapse on TV, he was running north with the crowd, and remained out of contact for four excruciating hours. Finally, he made it home - as shaken as anyone who was that close, but thankfully alive and unhurt.

2. The Sunday after 9/11 there was a wonderful gathering of artists, clergy, and community leaders at Snug Harbor, the main cultural resource for Staten Island's north shore community. The spirit and message of the gathering were clear and vibrant: working together, we were going to heal the wounds of this tragedy, turn the evil into good, and create an even better world, on every level, out of the chaos. I left the gathering completely inspired and ready to engage in that project. The word that comes to mind is "hope." I can't help but imagine that similar gatherings happened all over New York City.

3. The next Thursday, in his Address to the Nation, President Bush completely destroyed that hope and replaced it with a thinly disguised call for almost blind revenge, a mocking disrespect for the meaning of the word "justice," and a new appropriation of the definition of war, which would, he promised, now be waged endlessly and preemptively both on the vague concept of "terror" and on any nation we chose to designate as "not with us." For me, this speech, and the way the media accepted it was wholesale, without the slightest hint of shock or repudiation, was more terrifying than 9/11 itself. It completely cut the bottom out of the foundation that had been established at Snug Harbor and re-defined not only 9/11, but largely, the entire decade that followed, in a tone of near-hysterical reactivity and hopelessness. (No wonder that seven years later, Obama chose the word Hope as the focal point of his election strategy.)

This morning, as WNYC's "911 Decade" coverage began in earnest, it seemed to me that yet another attempt had begun to re-define the event - this time, in a sanitized, "non-political" way, with no attempt to address the way the tragedy was politicized to excuse an entire decade of wars built on lies, and the resulting degradation of both the economy and the entire social discourse of our country.

I need, and I think we need as a nation, to get back to the real hope that defined the Sunday after 9/11. I don't think this can be done without facing the way the event was hijacked and politicized, the enormous lies that were perpetrated in the guise of a valid response, and the hugely destructive course that the nation was set on the following Thursday. I hope that WNYC will will address these issues in its coverage. There is no hope in denial.

Aug. 30 2011 03:12 PM

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