In 2005, in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, StoryCorps launched the September 11 Initiative. The goal of the project is to record at least one story commemorating each life lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

This year, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, StoryCorps is releasing two new animated shorts highlighting the voices of those impacted by this tragedy, “September 12th” and “Father Mychal’s Blessing.” These new animations are part of a rich body of stories from the September 11 Initiative, which includes conversations with family members, colleagues, and friends who wish to commemorate the events of September 11.

These StoryCorps interviews are archived in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and are also part of a special collection at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.


Father Mychal’s Blessing

On 9/11, Father Mychal Judge, beloved chaplain to the NYC Fire Department, was killed during the attack on the World Trade Center while offering spiritual support, becoming the first certified fatality of the 9/11 attacks. His friend, Father Michael Duffy, read the sermon at his funeral. He remembers Father Mychal’s endearing mannerisms, constant positivity, and profound impact on everyone he knew.
Read the full transcript here.

September 12th

On 9/11, Vaughn Allex checked in two passengers arriving late for their flight. He learned later that they were two of the hijackers of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. He recalls the toll it took on him.
Read the full transcript here.


We will also be releasing a two-part podcast episode that shares first-hand reflections on 9/11. The first part, a collaboration with Consider This, looks at the lasting toll of 9/11 on U.S. civilians, U.S. veterans, and Afghan citizens, and will be published on Friday, September 10. Part two will go live on 9/11. Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11
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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we teamed up with NPR’s daily afternoon podcast, Consider This, to bring you stories from some of the people whose lives were forever changed by September 11 and its aftermath.


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“I opened up the back door of that church to see these hundreds of eyes all staring back at me, knowing where I had been.”
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Joe Dittmar

Joe Dittmar recounts making his way back home on September 11, 2001 after surviving the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Read the full transcript here.

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"He gave me the joys of motherhood, and the pains of motherhood."
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Salman Hamdani

Talat Hamdani remembers her son, an EMT and NYPD cadet who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 as a first responder and was wrongfully accused of having terrorist links.
Read the full transcript here.

She Was the One

When Richie Pecorella met Karen Juday, she captured his heart and changed his life. They were engaged when she was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

John and Joe

The late John Vigiano Sr., a retired FDNY captain, honors his sons — John Jr., also a firefighter, and Joe, a police detective — who were killed while saving others on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

Sean Rooney

Beverly Eckert shares her final conversation with her husband, Sean Rooney, before he died in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

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"We were so close that it was like just being...one person."
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Richie Palazzolo

Ronnie and Richie Palazzolo were identical twins who did everything together, including working at the World Trade Center. They were both there on the morning of the September 11 attacks. 20 years later, Ronnie came to StoryCorps to remember his brother and best friend.
Read the full transcript here.

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“We were the luckiest of the unlucky.”
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Mark Petrocelli

Retired NYC Fire Chief Albert Petrocelli died from COVID-19 nearly two decades after losing his youngest son, Mark, on September 11, 2001. Before he passed, Chief Petrocelli and his wife, Ginger, sat down to remember the last time they saw their son.
Read the full transcript here.

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"People saw only a turban and a beard."
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Balbir Singh Sodhi

Rana and Harjit Sodhi remember their brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man who was killed in the first hate crime following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Read the full transcript here.

Always a Family

Monique Ferrer remembers the last time she spoke with her ex-husband, Michael Trinidad, on September 11, 2001, when he called her from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower to say goodbye.
Read the full transcript here.

 

From the Archive: More Stories of September 11

To hear more stories related to September 11, visit our Archive and search for the keyword “9/11”.
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Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein

Interview partners Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein talk about Dawn’s experience as a producer on CBS This Morning on the morning of September 11, 2001. Dawn describes the exact moment when newsrooms found out that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and she shares her feelings regarding the reactions that New Yorkers had after the attack. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Sharon Watts

Sharon Watts shares the story of her relationship with her ex-fiance Captain Patrick Brown of the FDNY, who passed away during the 9/11 attacks. Sharon affectionately recollects stories and reveals that soon after Patrick passed away, Sharon compiled stories and journals about his life to create a book. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Maria Dominguez and Phillip Cassanova

Rescue medical firefighter, Maria “Terry” Dominguez talks with her nephew Phillip Cassanova about her deployment with the USSR during the 9/11 attacks and shares her feelings about the aftermath of the tragedy while reflecting on the importance of loved ones. Phillip describes being 10 years old when the attack occurred and finding out in his 5th grade classroom. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle, along with StoryCorps facilitator Virginia Lora, recounts finding out that the attacks had occurred while he was riding the Q train over lower Manhattan. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Diane Davis and Leo McKenna

Spouses Diane Davis and Leo McKenna discuss their memories of 9/11, when 7,000 plane passengers were forced to land in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada following the attacks in New York City. Diane, a third grade teacher at the time, remembers preparing the schools to house the passengers. Leo recalls the commotion that occurred due to the sudden landing of the passengers. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Seth and Lois Gilman

Seth Gilman, who was a rescue worker during 9/11, speaks with his mother Lois Gilman about assisting the New York City police and witnessing the loss of many lives on that day. He describes his journey to becoming a teacher, and the unity that he saw during a difficult moment in history. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Nadine Newlight

Nadine (Nai’a) Newlight tells StoryCorps facilitator Eloise Melzer about how close she was to being at World Trade Center on 9/11. She describes her love for the World Trade Center and her experience as a tour guide there. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman

Colleagues and close friends Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman discuss the loss of Muldowney’s brother, Richard Muldowney Jr., a fellow firefighter who passed away saving people on 9/11. Brian describes going down to the World Trade Center with his brother’s firehouse to help and discusses how his brother’s legacy affects his work. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Fabiano

Michael Fabiano, a Deputy Controller for NY/NJ Port Authority, speaks with Sarah Geis about his experience being on the 69th floor of Tower 1 when the first plane attacked. He describes his escape from the building and his efforts to help bring to safety a colleague, John Ambrosio, who was wheelchair bound.
Read the full transcript here.

 


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Kris Gould and Scott Accord

On the morning of 9/11 as she watched the planes crash, Kris Gould tried to get in contact with a friend who worked on the 99th floor of Tower 1. She and her colleague Scott Accord talk about the vibe that fell over the city the day after the attacks occurred. Read the full transcript here.

 


Share your story. StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps Archive at the Library of Congress. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.