Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Anniversaries

This morning, President Obama observed the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and elsewhere. That day, September 11, 2001, of course lives on as a date that has memories for everyone in this country, because of what it meant to be attacked by a well-financed and -organized terrorist organization and because of how it changed all of our lives since then.

During the ceremonies today, there have been many moving tributes to the heroes of that day, and memories of those lost. So we'll just take this space to provide some resources for people looking for more background on the events and context for what they meant.

Back in 2002, on the one-year anniversary of the attacks, The Commonwealth Club held a forum that was led by Ming Chin, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California, Father Stephen A. Privett, president of the University of San Francisco, and Dr. Gloria Duffy, CEO of The Commonwealth Club. You can read the transcript of the program by clicking on the jpg images to the left; these are from the transcript printed in the October 15, 2002, issue of The Commonwealth, The Club's official magazine. Our web site also hosts a transcript of the event, which you can read here.

The Commonwealth Club held a series of 9/11-related forums and other programs after September 11, and it has continued to follow matters related to terrorism, public safety, and national security in the years since. For an introduction to some of those programs, visit our archives page.

On August 17, 2004, The Commonwealth Club held an event with two members of the 9/11 Commission, Slade Gorton and Richard Ben-Venistey. You can read the transcript of that event here, or you can listen to audio of the event.

New York Times reporter Jere Longman came to The Club on August 14, 2002, to speak about the "The Story of Flight 93 and Its Heroes." You can read that transcript here.

And, of course, there have been many others. From administration officials and their supporters defending the actions taken to ensure national security, to critics of the administration concerned about constitutional protection and human rights. Those discussions have all taken place at The Commonwealth Club, and they will continue to do so, including Admiral Dennis Blair, President Obama's director of national intelligence, who will be speaking on September 15.

There will be many more anniversaries of this date, and undoubtedly people from many walks of life will mark it in their own way. We'll continue to study it all at The Commonwealth Club.


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