A crowd gathered for a nighttime candlelight vigil in Union Square Park.

Vigil in Union Square Park, New York City. Photo by Brandon Remler.

Memorializing 9/11

Why is it important to remember 9/11?

The events of September 11, 2001, irrevocably changed the lives of victims’ families and friends, survivors, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, volunteers, and millions of Americans and people around the world. Today, the legacies of the attacks continue to affect foreign policy, national security, civic discourse, airline security, building safety, the law, and countless individual lives.

The attacks also provide numerous examples of individuals helping others in whatever ways they could, often at the expense of their own safety, under difficult circumstances. Their humanity and selflessness offer a counter to the horror of that day and provide an example as we face difficult moments today and moving forward.

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located at the site of the original World Trade Center complex, is the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring 9/11, documenting its impact, and examining its continuing significance. Remembering and honoring the 2,977 people killed in the 9/11 attacks and the six people killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is at the heart of its mission.

Primary Sources

These primary resources include speeches, executive orders, legislative acts and debates, and government reports. 

Suggested Reading List

14 Cows for America

Carmen Agra Deedy (author), Thomas Gonzalez (illustrator). Peachtree Publishing Company, 2016.

(Preschool–Grade 3)


30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag

Amanda Davis (author), Sally Wern Comport (illustrator). WorthyKids, 2021.

(Kindergarten–Grade 3)


Towers Falling

Jewell Parker Rhodes, 2016, Little, Brown and Company

(Grades 3–7)

No Day Shall Erase You: The Story of 9/11 as told by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Edited by Alice M. Greenwald. Rizzoli Electa, 2016.


A Place of Remembrance

Allison Blais and Lynn Rasic. National Geographic, 2015.


The Stories They Tell

Edited by Clifford Chanin and Alice M. Greenwald. Rizzoli Electa, 2013.

9/11: The Culture of Commemoration

Dennis Smith. University of Chicago Press, 2006

Portraits in Grief 9/11/2001

Howard Raines. Times Books, 2002

Related Resources

These related resources include lesson planspast public programs, and feature galleries on Inside the Collection.