From The Beacon: Library a source for 9/11 reflection

Ten years ago this September, the events of a single day changed the way Americans view the world and each other. Across media outlets worldwide and Main Streets across our nation, Americans bonded together like never before. Consequently, the attacks ushered in a fear not easily forgotten. As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, many Americans will reflect on what the past 10 years have been like -- not only in America, but also throughout the world.

Across the nation and throughout Beaufort County, memorials, and commemoration activities will mark the Sept. 11 anniversary. Of special note is the commemoration service hosted by the City of Beaufort and local churches on Sept. 11 at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort.

Several books have been written about the attacks, as well as the events leading up to them and the aftermath. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn's book "102 minutes: The untold story of the fight to survive inside the Twin Towers" recounts the extraordinary efforts of those trapped in the World Trade Center. To compile this compelling account of the events taking place between the moment the first tower was struck to the moment the second tower collapsed, Dwyer and Flynn relied upon thousands of oral histories, interviews with rescue workers, and emergency radio transcripts.

"The looming tower: Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11" by Lawrence Wright chronicles the events leading up to the devastating attacks. Wright's research takes the reader behind the scenes at the FBI and al-Qaida.

In addition to feature films such as "United 93" and "World Trade Center," several documentaries have been released to capture the events that changed America. "America Rebuilds," "On Native Soil" and "In memoriam: New York City 9/11/01" are three documentaries that, through powerful images and research, recount the tragic event.

Although the 10th anniversary marks a milestone, the publishing world is not releasing a lot of new titles on the subject as they have done in previous years. One title due out this September does stand out as a book to watch. "The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda" by former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan -- releasing on Sept. 12 -- provides never-before-reported information about al-Qaeda. As an FBI agent, Soufan offers an insider's view from his role in counterterrorism. "The Black Banners" should offer a new vantage point from which to examine the Sept. 11 attacks.

As you reflect on the decade since the attacks, be sure to check out one of the many books and documentaries about Sept. 11 stocked in the shelves of your local library branch. During your visit you're likely to see thematic book displays and exhibits. Join our Facebook discussion and share your Sept. 11 memories at

And of special note, take some time to visit the Beaufort District Collection's archive of oral histories provided by local residents as they described their personal remembrances of that fateful day in September 2001.