Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism

9/11: Then and now

11 September 2021
An American flag is unfurled at the Pentagon in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at sunrise on the morning of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The American flag is draped over the site of impact at the Pentagon. In the foreground, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, opened in 2008 adjacent to the site, commemorates the lives lost at the Pentagon and onboard American Airlines Flight 77. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Nothing reminds us of how small our world is so much as the anniversary of this terrible day.

While President Joe Biden recently declared an end to America's long war in Afghanistan, the impact of the attacks that ignited it is still being felt from Kabul to Kansas City.

During the months leading up to the 20th anniversary of the attacks on New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Global Journalist spoke to military veterans, journalists, and Afghan citizens whose lives have been permanently changed by 9/11. We've compiled their stories here in a series produced by the Missouri School of Journalism's newsrooms.

The arc of history

The Tribute in Light rises above the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, in New York. Saturday marks the twentieth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Listen to the KBIA-produced retrospective, featuring voices of mid-Missourians and others whose lives were changed by the 9/11 attacks and the 20-year war that followed.

Eyewitnesses at the Pentagon

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, the south side of the Pentagon burns after terrorists crashed a plane into the building (AP Photo/Tom Horan)

"There was a fireball. And I remember just punching the dashboard on my car, just out of sort of seething exasperation, that this was happening, and, you know, right in front of me."

Read and watch as MU J-School alum Ted Bridis and Fulton native Byron Bagby, a retired major general, describe what it was like at the Pentagon on 9/11

Missouri vets reflect

Side by side head shots of John Seesengood and Latavia Gibson
John Seesengood and Latavia Gibson are veterans of the war in Iraq (KOMU)

"We're the kind of nation that we try, we try to help as much as we can," Army veteran Latavia Gibson told KOMU. "And now, in these times, it's more of an issue of whether we should help."

Read and watch Missouri military veterans reflect on their time in Afghanistan on KOMU.

Still trying to save Afghan lives

Years after leaving the military, Kansas City lawyer Shawn Lee is trying to help Afghans escape the Taliban. (KOMU)

"I think they just broke those promises. No one reached out to us. No one heard us. So, we are in extreme danger."

Read and hear from an Afghan interpreter for U.S. forces and the Kansas City veteran who is trying to save him.

Other perspectives

Victor McFarland

Read a compilation of all these stories, including a historical analysis of the 9/11 conflict by MU historian Victor McFarland in the Columbia Missourian.

Byron Bagby

And read an op-ed by retired Major General Byron Bagby.

Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism.
cameramagnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram