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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Unfriendly Skies
WBUR - Boston, MA
WBUR's documentary on aviation security starts at Logan Airport where two of the hijacked planes took off on September 11. Since that day, air travel has changed forever, but questions remain whether government and the travel industry have taken the right steps to protect passengers and the country. (58:59)


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The Spiritual Fallout of 9/11
Minnesota Public Radio, KNOW, St. Paul, MN
We delve into uncomfortable religious and moral questions that the September 2001 terrorist attacks raised—questions of meaning that Americans have only begun to ponder one year later. Also, a riveting first-person account of the religious life that grew up at and around Ground Zero and was largely hidden from news reporting. (58:50)


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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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Civics Lessons
KQED - Northern California
Public schools in America were founded on the belief that learning about citizenship was essential to the newly created democratic union. Since then, democracy has been challenged by immigration, unpopular wars and diversity. Many schools responded by backing away from civics education, but since September 11, many are reconsidering. (8:33)


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.