These questions are suggested based on our experience of conducting StoryCorps interviews about 9/11. You can choose a category, or scroll through and read them all. We encourage you to come up with your own questions, too. For a printer friendly version of this list, please click on the printer icon at the bottom right-hand corner of this page.
General questions for remembering 9/11
Where were you on the morning of September 11th?
How did you become aware that something was wrong?
What did you think was happening?
What were your first thoughts when you realized what had happened?
Who else was nearby?
Can you tell me about the conversations you had that morning?
What is your most vivid memory of the day?
How has September 11th changed you?
What did you learn about yourself that day? In the years that followed?
What did you do on September 12? (Did you go back to work? When and where?)
How did you cope in the days following September 11th?
How has your neighborhood changed since that day?
Was your daily routine/business affected by 9/11?
Have you formed connections with others who shared your experience?
What has been most difficult for you?
Did September 11th affect your faith or outlook on life?
Have your feelings about September 11th changed over time?
Do you ever dream about that day?
How do you mark the September 11th anniversary?
Who do you talk to about your September 11th experience?
What was the experience like for your family?
What do you want your children to know about your experience?
What hopes, dreams, or goals do you have for your future?
Have you visited Ground Zero after the attacks? How do you feel when you are there?
Have your feelings toward the area changed?
Questions for remembering a loved one
Are you remembering someone who passed away in the 9/11 attacks?
What was his/her full name? (What did you call him/her?)
What was his/her relationship to you?
Tell me about _________.
What did _________ look like?
What were his/her dreams about the future?
Do you ever dream about _________?
If you could talk to _________ right now, what would you want to say?
What are the hardest times?
What has helped you the most in your grief?
What is the image of _________ that persists?
What would you ask _________ if he/she was here today?
What is your last interaction with _________?
What do you miss most about _________?
What has been the hardest thing about losing _________?
What is your most vivid memory of _________?
Where did _________ grow up?
What did _________ like to do as a child?
What school(s) did _________ go to?
How would _________’s friends describe him/her?
Did _________ have any special talents?
Did _________overcome any obstacles in his/her life?
Was there anything you disagreed about, fought over, or experienced some conflict around?
What about _________ made/makes you smile?
Were there any jokes _________ used to tell?
Is there something about _________ you think no one else knows?
Did _________ believe in the after-life?
Was _________ religious?
How do you think _________ would want to be remembered?
Questions for survivors
Did you live or work near the World Trade Center?
What company/tower/floor did you work?
What were you doing when you heard of the news?
What were your immediate thoughts? Did you make any phone calls?
Were you given any directions as to what you should do? Who gave the directions and what did they say?
Did you talk to other people about what to do?
When were you the most scared? What was on your mind?
What did you see? What was going on around you?
How did you get out?
Did you think you might not survive?
Are there sounds, smells, or physical sensations that you remember?
What people stand out in your memory? Why?
Did you witness any acts of courage or kindness on that day?
What’s the first thing you did when you escaped the area?
Describe your ?journey? home. What was your first contact with family or friends?
Is there someone you remember from that day who you wish you could speak to?
Questions for rescue workers, first responders and volunteers
When did you arrive at the site? What was the first thing you saw?
What was your role? Was it your choice to assist with the relief and recovery efforts?
If you had to relive the experience, would you have done things differently?
Did you view your job differently in the days and weeks that followed?
How do you want your experience as a first responder/rescue worker/volunteer to be remembered?