Understanding & Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. As we reflect on the world-wide cultural and political changes this set in motion, including the nation’s recent withdrawal fromthelongest war in our country’s history in Afghanistan, how do we speak with our children about topics like peace, patriotism, tolerance, human rights, and responding to trauma as they relate to 2001 and today?

Families and educators can continue below for primary source materials and resources to help contextualize the events of 9/11 and its impact using audio recordings, videos, photos, lesson plans and more. Complement these resources with programs airing in the Mountain Lake PBS Learning at Home block and throughout our broadcast, to give further insight into, and in remembrance of, September 11th.

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Learn About the Impact of September 11th: Then & Now

America Responds | Classroom Resources

All Grades
It’s been 20 years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Explore virtual learning-ready classroom resources that engage students in learning more about related issues, such as peace, tolerance, and patriotism.

Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories

Grades PreK-5
As we reflect on 9/11, remind your kids to ​always “look for the helpers.” Having responsive, reassuring conversations is one way parents can help kids navigate what they read and hear about unsettling news stories.

September 11th | Teaching with Primary Sources

Grades 6-12
This inquiry kit features Library of Congress sources examining the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States including interactive multimedia timelines, audio recordings, photos, and more.

Since 9/11, What Do Your Students Know about How the U.S. Has Changed? | PBS NewsHour

Grades 6-12
Many changes have occurred in U.S. domestic and foreign policy since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Air travel regulations tightened when Congress federalized airport security with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). More than 260 government agencies were created or reorganized, the Patriot Act and 48 bills were signed into law, many of them related to counterterorrism work, and the U.S. entered the longest war in our country’s history in Afghanistan. This resource also includes support materials for teachers and students, like discussion questions and extension activities.

Daily News Lesson: America’s Longest War is Over

Grades 6-12
The final flight of American troops left Afghanistan just before midnight Tuesday, August 31, 2021 in Kabul, after 20 years of war. The U.S. airlifted more than 120,000 American civilians and Afghan allies from Kabul, but thousands of Afghans who wanted to leave were left behind, at least for now. Using this lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra, students can read the summary, watch the video, and answer discussion questions about these recent events. Educators can expand the lesson with the Gallup article, “American Public Opinion and the Afghanistan Situation,” to give greater context.

Facing Muslim Stereotypes After September 11 | Finding Your Roots

Grades 9-12
This segment from the PBS series Finding Your Roots provides a look at Muslim stereotypes and anti-Muslim sentiments following the terrorist attacks of September 11. Sheik Yasir Qadhi reflects on his personal experiences with anti-Muslim feelings and the injustice of stereotypes.

Learning at Home & Special Programming

In remembrance of September 11th,Mountain Lake PBS is airing programs in our Learning at Home block and throughout our broadcast.

Thursday, September 9

2 PM: 9/11 Inside the Pentagon

Marking the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., this program tells the rarely told stories of the attack that took place at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, in which 184 people died.

Friday, September 10th

2 PM: Leaning Out

The lead structural engineer of the World Trade Center oversees the construction of the world’s tallest towers, haunted by their fall ever since. Families of 9/11 victims demand answers. This unique bond with humanity solidifies his place in American history. An intimate look into the life and work of Leslie E. Robertson, a legendary engineer in high-rise design and cultural centers across the globe. 

9 PM: Generation 9/11

A feature-length documentary, “Generation 9/11” is an intimate film driven by the stories and personalities of its protagonists, who were born in the wake of a global tragedy which, for them, was also deeply personal. But it is also the story an entire generation that has been shaped by the attacks and their aftermath.

Saturday, September 11th

8 PM: GREAT PERFORMANCES: “Verdi’s Requiem: The Met Remembers 9/11”

Great Performances and The Metropolitan Opera present a special live performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the concert features performances by the Met orchestra, chorus and soloists Ailyn Pérez, Elīna Garanča, Matthew Polenzani and Eric Owens. Hosted by world-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland from nearby the site of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the special includes footage from the archives of the museum as well as New York City’s Tribute in Light, a commemorative public art installation featuring two beams of light that reach up to four miles into the sky, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers, every year from dusk to dawn on the night of September 11.