September 10, 2012 8:35 pm

Years Later… Neil deGrasse Tyson Measures the Magnitude of 9/11

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the events of 9/11, StarTalk Radio produced a special episode about that fateful day. Here’s how Neil deGrasse Tyson starts the episode:

“…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…”


The “Tribute in Light” memorial is in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The two towers of light are composed of two banks of high wattage spotlights that point straight up from a lot next to Ground Zero. This photo was taken from Liberty State Park, N.J., Sept. 11, the five-year anniversary of 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Denise Gould).

And that’s exactly what Neil does in this absolutely riveting 9/11 memorial episode of StarTalk Radio. Neil talks with people who were there, like New York City Firefighter Lt. Mickey Kross, who was in the North Tower of the World Trade Center when it collapsed. He 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 that 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.

Neil also opens up and shares with us his own deeply personal feelings about how the event affected him. And then he talks with Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and the producer of Cosmos (which will be hosted by Neil), who was supposed to be on – but missed – a flight out of Logan that struck one of the Towers.

This 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.


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