As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 nears, I, like many others, think back to that fateful day. I had worked late the day before overseeing the second of five 20-page special sections for our newspaper’s 100th anniversary celebration edition.
I was getting ready to go to work when I got a call from our community editor. “Turn on the TV,” she said. As I turned it on, the second plane crashed into the second tower. I made my way quickly to work where we started planning a special edition. The 100th anniversary edition would have to wait.
To be honest, we went as fast as we could, gathering local reaction and agonizing over headlines. How big should we make it? BIG! What should we say? If memory serves me right, we used the word Attack! in a bigger-than-big font. As we sent the special section to the press, I felt like a robot. We all seemed in shock. We got the special edition out as well as the regular daily newspaper. Amazingly over the next few days, we were able to finish the 100th special edition on time, but no one felt much like celebrating.
Fast forward 10 years, and I find I cannot get enough news about that horrific day in the history of our nation. I have watched many documentaries, some even a few weeks ago. What’s interesting is we were so busy 10 years ago covering the dreadful news, that I missed the side stories, the stories of human compassion and bravery. Now, I drink in the stories, and look for more. That’s what I was doing when I came across a book list, 11 of the Best Books About 9/11 by Peter Steinberg, the avid reader who runs Flashlight Worthy.
“As someone who adopted New York as my home just two years before 9/11 – and who watched the first tower fall with his own eyes,” writes Peter, “I debated whether to create this list. In the end, I think that no matter your literal or emotional distance from Ground Zero on September 11, there’s at least one book on this list for you. (Oh, and it’s no longer a list of 11 books. A few more have turned up so now it’s 13).”
So now I have a library to open and drink in more about that fateful day. As we know, and a whole decade can attest, life continued on after 9/11. As much as we grieved and suffered, we rose above all the evil flung at us that day. That’s what makes us most proud as Americans.