Books et al.Forensic Science

Remembering 9/11

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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 996
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4476

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There is no dispute that the terrorist events that unfolded in the United States on 11 September 2001 changed western history forever. Governments debated how they would have responded had it happened on their home soil, aviation authorities reconsidered security, emergency services reassessed practices, and parents hugged their children tighter. Those of us in other countries willed Americans to rise above the senseless brutality and steadfastly defy the insult with patriotism, empathy, unity, and resilience. What we did not expect was the tawdry infighting, discord, and bitter dispute that would come to surround the identification and memorialization of those who lost their lives that day. This text by Jay Aronson is a nonjudgmental chronicle of the monumental conflict between the many passionate stakeholders—from those seeking to rebuild the commercial heart of the city to the grieving families—all of whom were battling with their own demons while trying to reach a resolution in the absence of a common vision.