Understanding America after 9/11



A week of special coverage on public radio stations nationwide


We knew life in America would never be the same after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but no one knew exactly how it would change. How has our society and country come to terms since then? Public radio tackles this question with Understanding America after 9/11, a week of special coverage on stations nationwide.

Stories and programs from Understanding America after 9/11 were broadcast on public radio stations nationwide September 3 through September 10, 2002. Many of the stories are archived on this site.


Is your life different today because of Spetember 11?
You're invited to participate in an online chronicle of how our lives have changed — and remained the same — a year after the terrorist attacks. Share your answer and read others' responses.


Planes overhead make me anxious now. It heightened my sensitivity to sound, before I never really heard the airplanes...


After getting past the initial shock, anger and sadness, what remains is a renewed love for life, and a heightened sense of compassion and tolerance...



NPR's Lost and Found Sound and the public broadcasting community are collecting audio traces of the World Trade Center, its neighborhood and the events of September 11th. Explore the archive, contribute your own sounds and stories, and immerse yourself in the Sonic Browser, an interactive soundscape of stories and audio fragments at www.sonicmemorial.org



NPR Special Coverage:

live events
Living with Terror: The World Speaks a Year After 9/11
WAMU - Washington, D.C. and BBC - London
Award-winning journalists Robin Lustig and Deborah Amos hosted a two-hour live event featuring call-outs to top foreign correspondents, comments from dignitaries, and questions from around the world. (2:00:00)
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Living with Terror: America Speaks a Year after 9/11
WBUR - Boston, MA, Minnesota Public Radio - St. Paul, MN, KPCC Los Angelos, CA
Ray Suarez, now with PBS, and Stephen Sackur from the BBC in London hosted live roundtable discussions in L.A., the Twin Cities, and Boston. Audiences compareed views about how 9/11 has changed their lives and the country, and how the fear of terrorism will influence the future. (1:48:00)
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Selected Stories

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We Were on Duty
rlpaulproductionsSoundprint Media Center, Washington, DC
We Were on Duty is an oral history of the survivors who were on duty at the Pentagon on September 11. In their own words, you'll hear of their harrowing escape, the ordeals of their burn treatments; and how they've turned to heaven, their families and their military training to pull them through. (1:00:00)


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Hijacking 9/11
OPB - Portland, OR
Are opponents of environmental protection "hijacking" the post-September 11th anti-terrorist fervor to destroy the environmental movement? Bills in Congress would redefine terrorism broadly, non-violent civil disobedience would carry stiffer sentences, and tree-sitting would shift from misdemeanor trespass to a felony. (7:00)


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Navajo Reflections on 9/11
KUER - Salt Lake City, UT
This is an audio portrait of Native American reflections on September 11 and its aftermath. Jenny Brundin allows Navajos to share the spiritual and life lessons they gained from the 9/11 tragedy. This portrait with no narration is steeped in the sounds indigenous to the reservation. (8:10)


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It's More Than a Game
WFUV - New York, NY
The National Anthem means more than ever at sporting events, and since 9/11, the meaning of the game has changed for New York's athletes and fans. Area pros talk about sports as a diversion from the threat of terrorism, and their new perspective on playing for a living. (5:00)


Home | Stories | Is Your Life Different? | About the Project

  Major funding for Understanding America after 9/11 is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Photo Above: Mel Evans/The Record

UnderstandingAmerica.org is comprised of the collective work of public radio stations, producers and networks around the world. Copyright to individual programs is held by the producing entity. All other copyrights are held by Minnesota Public Radio, 2002. All right reserved.