This year, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The National Archives safeguards many records related to 9/11, including those of the 9/11 Commission, the 9/11 Federal Aviation Administration records, and the records of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
Most of us remember where we were, and how life changed that day. As an agency with facilities in Washington, DC, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and California, the immediacy of the events felt that much closer to our homes and workplaces.
Left: Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry render honors as firefighters and rescue workers unfurl an American flag at the Pentagon. (Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Pendergrass) View in National Archives Catalog
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Tuesday, September 7
7 p.m. ET
American Phoenix: Heroes of the Pentagon | National Archives Museum
Journalist Phil Hirschkorn speaks with Lincoln W. Starnes, author of American Phoenix, and Pentagon eyewitnesses/rescuers Lt. Col. Marilyn Wills, Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Braman, and Army Sgt. Maj. Tony Rose.
Wednesday, September 8
5 p.m ET
How We Remember: September 11 Memorials | National Archives Foundation
Patrick Madden, Executive Director of the National Archives Foundation, moderates a discussion on memorials to mark national tragedies. Panelists include Michael Arad, architect of NYC‚Äôs 9/11 Memorial, Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman, designers of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial; Paul Murdoch, architect of the Flight 93 National Memorial; and Spencer Bailey, journalist and author of In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials. Moderated by Patrick Madden, National Archives Foundation.
Friday, September 10
6 p.m. ET
A Life of Selfless Service, Sacrifice, and Civic Engagement | National Archives at New York
Although Colonel Cyril ‚ÄúRick‚ÄĚ Rescorla died on 9/11, he is credited with saving the lives of 2,700 fellow employees of Morgan Stanley. A panel will discuss his service, courage and leadership. Megan Jones, Senior Director of Education Programs, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, will moderate the conversation with Conrad Crane, Chief of Analysis and Research for the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle Barracks, PA; Lissa Young, Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY; and Jenna Ryall, Director of Civics for All at the New York City Department of Education.
Children's Letters from the
American Red Cross Collection: September 11 Recovery Program
September 7‚ÄďOctober 6, 2021, in the National Archives East Rotunda Gallery
Featured artifact: Bullhorn used by President Bush at Ground Zero in New York City, September 14, 2001. (George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum)
- Teaching Activities for all grade levels focused on Rick Rescorla, who helped thousands of people to safety in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
- More primary sources
Blogs and Social Media
An Instagram post in honor of 9/11 connected the son of a New York firefighter with a meaningful photograph. (National Archives News) More
- AOTUS: We Remember: 20th Anniversary of 9/11
- NARAtions: Remembering 9/11: Photos from the George W. Bush Library on Flickr
- Pieces of History: 9/11: An Address to the Nation
- Pieces of History: Ten Years Later: Handling 9/11 Commission Records
- Pieces of History: 9/11: The World Series and a President‚Äôs Pitch
- Pieces of History: The Patriot Act
- Pieces of History: 9/11: An Address to the Nation
- The Text Message: Shutting Down the Sky: The Federal Aviation Administration on 9/11
- The Text Message: Rusty the Comfort Dog
- The Text Message: The Zone
- The Text Message: September 11 Through the Eyes of Children
- The Text Message: The Best Prophet of the Future is the Past: September 11‚ÄĒ1970, 1981, and 2001
- Transforming Classification: PIDB Recommends the Prioritized Declassification of 9/11 Records
- Today‚Äôs Document: The Twin Towers
- Unwritten Record: Remembering 9/11
- Facebook: Reflections on a 9/11 Anniversary
Images from 9/11
9/11 Commission Records at the National Archives
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, aka the 9/11 Commission, was an independent, bipartisan commission created by Congress to provide a "full and complete accounting" of the 9/11 attacks. The Commission operated from 2003 to 2004 and held hearings, conducted interviews, and issued a final report.
When the 9/11 Commission closed on August 21, 2004, it transferred legal custody of its records (approximately 570 cubic feet of textual records alone) to the National Archives. As part of the Legislative Branch, the Commission‚Äôs records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Due to the collection‚Äôs volume and the large percentage of national security classified files, the National Archives staff continues to process these materials.
9/11 Commission Resources Online
- 9/11 Commission records: Introductory page
- 9/11 Commission records FAQs: Answers to frequently asked questions about access to the records.
- 9/11 Commission's website preserved as it appeared on August 21, 2004 (the Commission's closing day). Includes staff monographs, staff biographies and statements, the final report, hearing transcripts and video, lists of witnesses, and press releases.
- 9/11 Commission Memoranda for the Record (MFRs): Commission staff conducted and summarized more than 1,200 interviews.
9/11 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Records
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) compiled records to support internal and external investigations of the events. This collection consists of 126 cubic feet of textual, audio, and electronic files.
- 9/11 FAA Records web page and FAQs
- Finding aid to 9/11 FAA records
- 9/11 FAA Open Files
- 9/11 FAA Glossary and Vocabulary
- 9/11 FAA File Inventory and Corrected File Names
At the Presidential Libraries
- September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks
- Video: Address to Nation on Terrorist Attacks, 9/11/2001
- Video: Remarks from Emma E. Booker Elementary School, 9/11/2001
- Video: Remarks at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA, 9/11/2001
- Video: President Bush Visits Ground Zero, remarks to First Responders, 9/14/2001
- President George Signs the Patriot Act, 10/26/2001
- Archived website from the George W. Bush White House: Remembering 9/11
- President Obama Speaks at 9/11 Museum Dedication, 5/14/2014
- Proclamation‚ÄĒPatriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 9/9/2011
- Vice President Joe Biden on Remembering 9/11: "We are a Nation about Possibilities"
- Presidential Address: Death of Osama Bin Laden, 5/2/2011
- What the World Learned on September 11, 2001
- Continuation of National Emergency Re: Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism
- Presidential Proclamation on National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2019
Building the World Trade Center
"Constructing the World Trade Center" - VISION USA, No. 06, 1972 (National Archives Identifier 58975)
World Trade Center Photographs from the DOCUMERICA Project