Check it Out: National Geographic book a guide to Sept. 11 memorial



I remember that it was a beautiful, sunny day in Vancouver. My husband was washing his car, and I was packing for a road trip we were starting the next day. An ordinary day until everything changed.

News of the planes flying into the World Trade Center stunned us, and when we heard about a plane also crashing into the Pentagon, the events taking place on the East Coast suddenly became personal.

Anxiously awaited phone calls finally reassured us that our brother-in-law, in the Army at the time and frequently involved with work at the Pentagon, was not there when tragedy struck. But our relief was tempered by the horrible reality of thousands of people perishing in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Sitting in front of the television on Sept. 11, 2001, my emotions shifted from disbelief and sadness to anger at what had happened to our country.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, a national 9/11 memorial, built at the site of the former World Trade Center, is ready to be dedicated.

To commemorate this event, National Geographic has published an official guide to the memorial. Containing previously unpublished photographs, architectural plans and poignant comments from those who witnessed the attack, this book reviews the tragic events of 9/11 as well as the past 10 years of planning and eventual construction of the memorial. To honor those who were lost on 9/11, a special fold-out list of all of the victims’ names is included.

As I pause today to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I find myself thinking of a quote by Confucius: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at She blogs at