Memories of 9/11: How Stories Help Us Heal

Stories help people heal. Photo by Joshua Smith.

 

“Stories expose corruption, ignite the flames of justice, restore the well-being of a community,” writes Roy Peter Clark of Poynter.org. “We can now narrate parables of survival in the hope that our culture, political system and way of life will re-form and carry on.”

In his essay, “From Homer to 9/11, how storytelling charts our survival,” Clark writes about how September 11, 2001 was the “inciting incident” that changed everything, much like other turning points in other epic stories. And the stories we tell about it afterwards help us survive and endure.

On the 10th anniversary of that tragic, coming-of-age, nothing-will-ever-be-the-same day, here are some reminders of the healing power of storytelling:

 

StoryCorps 9/11 Initiative

Since 2005, StoryCorps and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum have worked to record at least one story to honor each life lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. To date, StoryCorps has recorded and archived 1,193 September 11th stories, representing 583 individual victims.

Donate to the initiative here.

‘We Remember’ — Stories From Family And Friends About Sept. 11

We Remember offers an intimate look at lives forever changed by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In the hourlong special, NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with StoryCorps families who lost friends and loved ones to find out how they make their way today.

The Reckoning: America and the World a Decade after 9/11

The New York Times pieces together words, photos and videos about that fateful day. You can share your own thoughts about looking back on the decade, what happened on the actual day, the war abroad, and many other memories and reactions.  “Portraits of Grief” is a particularly moving collection of stories from families of victims of the September 11 attacks.

The 9/11 Arts Project

Initiated by Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a DC nonprofit arts, health, and education organization, this citywide project will kick off a “year of healing,” with multi-venue and multi-genre events to take place around the anniversary and throughout the year.

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt

The quilt poignantly conveys the importance of communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three panels, each with twelve squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several original works of art that inspired its content.

Remembering 9/11

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, the New-York Historical Society will present a special exhibition, Remembering 9/11, which will be free to the public through November 10, 2011.

Erica Schlaikjer

About the Author Erica Schlaikjer

Erica Schlaikjer is the Creator and Curator of Benevolent Media. She lives in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @benevolentmedia and @eschlaik.

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