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My Country Tis of Thee. Brittany Woodward, 2001.

[Detail] My Country Tis of Thee. Brittany Woodward, 2001.

The Attacks as Experienced via the Media

Of course, most Americans were not eyewitnesses to the attacks; most learned about the tragedy from television or radio broadcasts. Below are listed interviews with people who watched the events of September 11 from various locations around the country.

Listen to several of the interviews above; you may want to work with a group, splitting the interviews listed among group members and sharing the information gained. Use these interviews or others from people who watched events unfold on television to answer the following questions:

  • Compare the psychological and emotional responses of these individuals with those of eyewitnesses. What similarities do you note? What differences?
  • Do people’s emotions and fears seem to vary according to where they lived—in the country’s interior or near a coast, in a small town or a big city?
  • What are these interviewees’ perspectives on the media’s coverage of the events?
  • How do you, as a listener and student of history, respond to the eyewitness accounts versus those of people who watched the events on television? How might your response to the accounts influence the way you construct a historic account of September 11?