I doubt I’m alone in being unable to believe that it’s been ten years since 9/11. Regardless of how time flies, the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is quickly approaching and naturally, TV networks are set to begin airing specials.
As 9/11 approaches, I’m determined not to allow myself to watch more September 11th-themed programming than what is necessary to remember and re-assess the event from a ten-years-later perspective. It’s my view that there’s a line when it comes to watching specials that focus on tragedy. On one hand, it’s important to remember an event like 9/11, if only to recognize the significance of it on our country, and to remember those who were lost that day. On the other hand, I definitely believe there is such a thing as overdoing it, especially in an age when “reality” is packaged and presented to us on primetime TV on a nearly daily basis. I feel a certain measure of concern that, in an effort to acknowledge 9/11, I might find myself glued to the TV, watching every special that airs and at some point along the way, detaching myself from my own firsthand accounts of the tragic day in favor of what's been presented to me by these programs.
I'm sure I could dig further into my own thoughts on the subject of when and how the news morphs into a twisted form of entertainment (or at the very least, an obsession), but that's for another time. I’m certainly not suggesting we should boycott 9/11 programming. It’s been ten years and it’s an event that should be acknowledged publicly and remembered always. If anything, I'll be choosing the few specials I do watch with some thought. Fortunately, there's already a reasonably sized collection of programs scheduled to air between network TV and cable. Entertainment Weekly laid out the list of programming, which begins on August 25th with Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero on The Discovery Channel:
For younger TV viewers out there, many of which may not be old enough to remember 9/11, Nickelodeon is set to air What Happened: The Story of September 11, 2001. The special, is scheduled for September 1st, which works as it’ll give kids time to learn and understand the importance of the day in our nation’s history before the anniversary takes place ten days later. More information on the special can be found here.
National Geographic is running a couple of specials, as is PBS, which in addition to airing America Remembers: 9/11, will also broadcast the New York Philharmonic 10th Anniversary Concert for 9/11 and two other specials.
As for what you’ll find airing on September 11th, this is what EW.com has listed (so far):
8:00 p.m. Making the 9/11 Memorial (History)
Check out the full list of programs, dates and times here.