September 11

Commentary: 9/11, Ferguson And 'The Normal Heart'

Sep 15, 2014
The exterior shell of the World Trade Center south tower
FEMA | Wikipedia

Some moments in life never lose their power. There are two moments, two short hours, that I will always, ALWAYS, remember. And both came together on the  evening of Sept. 11, 2014.

One memory remains as clear as it can be: the hour watching live TV in my kitchen here in St. Louis as two planes flew into the World Trade Center in the where city I was born and raised in. It was Sept. 11, 2001.

Debbie Sobeck and her fifth grade class at Kennerly Elementary School discussing the events of Sept. 11.
Julie Bierach / St. Louis Public Radio

How do educators teach about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, especially with students too young to remember the tragedy?  

March to the Arch via Facebook

The annual Sept. 11 March to the Arch started in 2002 when Bo Drochelman took the American flag from the front porch of his Kirkwood home and walked to the Gateway Arch.

“It wasn’t well planned, I can tell you that,” Drochelman said. He wanted to do something that would honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and was a personal sacrifice. So he left a note for his wife, and started walking.

Christine Brewer
Christian Steiner

Soprano Christine Brewer, jazz pianist Peter Martin and jazz vocalist Denise Thimes will perform Sunday with ensembles from various faith communities in an annual 9/11 commemoration concert. 

Related story: Sept. 11 Concert Focuses On Uniting Community

Ray Marklin

Greek Orthodox, Muslim and Hindu musical ensembles are just part of the lineup for the fourth annual September 11th Interfaith Commemoration in Music: An Appreciation of Religious Diversity.

Sunday’s event is the work of Arts & Faith St. Louis, a coalition of local arts and faith leaders. The show focuses on bringing people of different ethnicities and faiths together both on stage and in the audience.


The September 11 terrorist attacks were a tragedy unlike anything the United States had experienced. They set the nation on a new path and their ramifications, both big and small, are still felt today, twelve years on.

There are the obvious consequences: thousands of people who died that day, two wars, the Patriot Act, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. And then there are the more subtle and pervasive ones: our mental state, how Muslims are perceived in America. Even our architecture has changed.

Ray Marklin

With the anniversary of September 11th on the horizon, Arts and Faith St. Louis is again gearing up for a concert to both remember the tragedy and promote unity across faith backgrounds.

Flickr/California National Guard

Saint Louis University is launching a study to explore whether two cancer medications could also help protect U.S. troops from bioterrorism attacks.

SLU is part of a consortium of institutions participating in the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Sept. 11: 11 years on

Sep 11, 2012
Credit (via Flickr/fekaylius)

Today we recognize one of the most significant Tuesday mornings in history, September 11, 2001.

We know everyone has their own unique experiences of that day, and we welcome you to share those with us and the St. Louis Public Radio communities here on, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Because we understand that everyone recognizes Sept. 11 in different ways, we have a variety of resources for you:

(via Flickr/Galileo55)

Tornado survivors finish National 9/11 flag

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Members of many faiths gathered at the grounds of the Gateway Arch on Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

The St. Louis office of the Council of American-Islamic Relations organized the event, which included a recitation of the Muslim afternoon prayer.

After 9/11, members of the Muslim community were blamed for the attacks simply because of their religion, said Faizan Syed, CAIR's executive director here in St. Louis.

(via Flickr/fekaylius)

Let's start with what we know.

Almost immediately, thousands of people died ten years ago. Countless lives were changed. Landscapes and skylines were scarred and scattered.

But it's been ten years since 9/11. An entire decade.

So, then, let's move forward with what we don't know for sure: how does something that started ten years ago still reach us, here in the St. Louis region, today? Did it ever end? Will it?

Through local news features, dedicated segments of St. Louis on the Air and special coverage from NPR we'll venture into these questions with you.

See our journalistic explorations here and we encourage you to offer your feedback.

Tweet us with your experiences of Sept. 11 @stlpublicradio, share with us on Facebook and comment on any of our stories here on


Over the past couple of weeks on St. Louis on the Air, we've had a handful of conversations about the impact of September 11th on the people of this region.  Though we in St. Louis were hundreds of miles away from Ground Zero, the events of that day have changed all of us.

Here's a quick roundup of the conversations you can find in our archives:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Fans heading down to the Edward Jones Dome for the Rams home opener this weekend will see more police and security personnel around the stadium.

But Bob Calderon, the Dome's director of public safety, says fans won't have to do anything different.

"They will continue to go through the pat-down process and have the same gameday experience that they would have prior to this particular anniversary," Calderon said.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, more than 50,000 rescue and recovery workers converged at the World Trade Center. Among them were the 62 members of Missouri’s FEMA Urban Search and Rescue task force.

The experience at ground zero made many workers sick, with health problems ranging from asthma to post-traumatic stress disorder.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra has this report about how the members of Missouri’s rescue team are doing.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

After the terrorist strikes on Sept. 11, the U.S. government vowed to do all it could to make Americans safer.  However, a new report shows the U.S. lagging in key areas.  

The 9/11 Commission, which made recommendations in the months following the attacks, says the country remains vulnerable.  Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson served on that panel that crafted a blueprint for national security. 

Thompson says a decade after the attacks, more needs to be done. He spoke with Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The federal government has provided millions of dollars to state and local governments to get them prepared to respond to the next 9/11.

In St. Louis and other regions across the country, the funds allowed fire departments to purchase equipment for all types of rescues and train their people to use the equipment. The requirements of the federal grants forced agencies to work together.

But federal funding dropped by more than 50 percent between fiscal years 2010 and 2011, and no one is sure how much money will be available for fiscal year 2012. And that’s raising some concerns about the sustainability of the region’s plan to respond to a mass disaster.

Debbie Sobeck and her fifth grade class at Kennerly Elementary School discussing the events of Sept. 11.
Julie Bierach / St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been ten years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.  To mark the anniversary, teachers are discussing the event with students.

Julie Bierach reports on how one fifth grade teacher at a St. Louis County elementary school is using a lesson about 9/11 to teach about character.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Steckler)

Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax started appearing in the U.S. mail, killing five people and sickening 17 others.

The incidents triggered a surge in research dedicated to preventing future bioterrorism attacks.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with Washington University virologist David Wang about his research on emerging infectious diseases, and how his work is helping to combat bioterrorism.