Five Reads for the Sept. 11 Anniversary

After last year's much-commemorated tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, this year feels quiet and even meditative. Gawker's Neetan Zimmerman observed this morning that there's very little pomp and circumstance to detail, few large headlines even in New York's papers. Heck, authorities say there isn't even a big terrorist threat today.

So without speeches and ceremony to watch, today provides a good chance to spend some time reading thoughtful, angry, and inspiring pieces from over the years and all corners the internet about the legacy of the attacks on our country and a world scarred by violence and retaliation.

I'm going to share my longreads and blog reading list from this morning and hope you will share yours in the comments below.

1-ThinkProgress reports on the victory for first responders in getting health coverage for a kind of cancer that has now finally been acknowledged as having a direct connection to their experience working at the WTC site.

2-We think a lot about the men--office workers, bankers, first responders, pilots--who died. But a fairly devastating 2002 piece from Women's eNewsprofiles girls who lost their mothers in the attacks. 

3- Many who perished in the WTC worked at major firms whose offices were in the towers' upper reaches. But this Huffington Post article published last yearfollows the workers from the restaurant Windows on the World who lost dozens of their beloved colleagues that day. The way these bereaved workers responded by reaching out to immigrants in the restaurant industry provides an astounding story--and a reminder that for those who live in the shadows in our society, crises and disasters can cut off not just loved ones who are taken too soon, but essential services and safety.

4-Some more personal reflections by New Yorkers: At Feministing, there's an essay by Syreeta on a city and world far from healing. Suzanne Reisman writes about her lasting anger at the conservative factions who ignored, then exploited the tragedy. John Proctor has a long piece analyzing the seminal essays that were written in the year after 2011 by writers like David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens--and the meaning of art when meaning seems lost.

5-Speaking of art, meaning and loss, fictional and artistic responses to 9/11 have abounded: some solid, some schmaltzy. For a short story that nails it, read "Nobody Ever Gets Lost" by Jess Row online at Drunken Boat.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at September 11, 2012, 9:24am

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