On Thursday, Sept. 17, the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s fall public programming season kicked off with journalist and historian Garrett Graff. In conversation with Senior Director of Public and Professional Programs Jessica Chen, Graff discussed researching and writing his new book, “The Only Plane in the Sky,” an oral history of the events of 9/11.
“The Only Plane in the Sky” tells the story of 9/11 through never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, original interviews and oral histories from hundreds of first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends and family members, and government officials to provide a vivid and human portrait of the attacks.
In the video clip below, Graff explains the feelings and sensory richness that these oral histories evoke. “What we remember as Americans from that day are the sights of 9/11. We remember watching it on television or if you’re a New Yorker, watching it unfold yourself here,” said Graff. “And yet when you go through these oral histories, what really comes out is the way that 9/11 was a 360-degree sensory experience for everyone who it touched. So I spent a lot of time in the book trying to capture the sound of 9/11, the taste of 9/11, what 9/11 felt like to the touch.”
By 9/11 Memorial Staff