September 11, 2013 3:13 pm

Revisiting Our Special Episode about 9/11

Photo of The Tribute in Light for StarTalk Radio's 9-11 Special Episode

Downtown Manhattan and The Tribute in Light, seen across the East River from Brooklyn, showing Freedom Tower (under construction) and the Brooklyn Bridge.

“…I lived three and a half blocks from what would later be known as Ground Zero. I was home that morning, and the entire series of events unfolded outside my dining room window… I don’t want to retell that now. What I’d rather try to do is measure the magnitude of the events of that morning…”  Neil deGrasse Tyson

Twelve years ago, Neil deGrasse Tyson witnessed the events of 9/11 at close range. Two years ago, on the tenth anniversary, StarTalk Radio produced a special episode about that day, 9/11 Memorial.

If you haven’t heard the episode yet, and with so many new fans that’s likely, I recommend you listen now. As I’ve said before, it is not an easy episode to listen to. But it is an important one. And a fitting one to share as we remember an event that still offers lessons we need to learn and thoughts we need to contemplate.

For instance, Neil talks with Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, whose job it is to make sure that if anything like 9/11 ever happens again, we’re ready for it. He talks with Ronnette Riley, a NYC architect, about how the Twin Towers and the governing building codes weren’t up to the challenges of the day, and how the Freedom Tower is different.

The episode is deeply personal, too, with Neil sharing his feelings about how the event affected him. He interviews New York City Firefighter Lt. Mickey Kross, who was in the North Tower of the World Trade Center when it collapsed. And he talks with Seth MacFarlane, the producer of the upcoming series Cosmos, which Neil is hosting, who was supposed to be on one of the planes out of Logan Airport that hit the Twin Towers but missed his flight.

Today is filled with remembrances, and strong emotions. Even writing this is bringing up a sense memory of the acrid tang to the air that permeated the city for weeks, or longer, reaching up to 36th street where I lived with my wife. Tears fill my eyes as I remember weeks spent reading the stories of the victims every day in the NY Times.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our 9/11 Memorial podcast, if you do, and, whether you do or not, to spare a moment for everyone and everything that was lost that day.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more