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TV specials revisit Sept. 11 attacks

TAMPA — The television images from Sept. 11, 2001, are seared in our collective memory. Smoke and flames billowing out of the World Trade Center; the Pentagon on fire; the collapse of the twin towers; chaos and falling debris on the streets of New York; former President George W. Bush getting the news while visiting a Sarasota classroom. Millions of Americans watched in shock as the horrific events unfolded live on television that day. Nearly 3,000 people were killed after terrorists hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Another jet, thought to be bound for the White House or the U.S. Capitol, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania while passengers fought the terrorists onboard. Many of those images will be revisited as the country marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Beginning today and continuing beyond Sept. 11, networks will have more than 40 special programs covering everything from what happened that day to how we have recovered and rebuilt. All-news networks such as Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN also will have extensive 9/11 coverage in the coming days. And the broadcast networks plan coverage from the morning news shows to prime-time specials. CBS will air “9/11: Ten Years Later” at 8 p.m. Sept. 11. Included is rare footage of the first plane crashing into the north tower of the World Trade Center. In this update of a special that aired in 2002, narrator Robert De Niro returns to ground zero and revisits 14 firefighters from Engine 7, Ladder 1. On an “NBC: Dateline” airing Sept. 9, Tom Brokaw recalls the 100 hours he spent in the anchor chair and provides updates about those he interviewed in the week after the attack. The volume of anniversary coverage is overwhelming, and much of it brings up painful memories. But it also includes insight, heroic stories and hope. The most difficult to watch is “Voices from Inside the Towers,” airing on Sept. 10 on the History Channel. It includes final cellphone calls from people who knew they were going to die and survival stories of victims who managed to escape. Former President Bush weighs in with his memories in an exclusive interview on National Geographic’s “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview” airing at 10 tonight. He recalls how “powerless” and “frustrated” he felt watching people jump to their deaths from the World Trade Center while he was aboard Air Force One and being kept away from Washington because of security concerns. USA Network’s “The Space Between,” airing Sept. 11, is a fictional treatment of the day. After their plane is grounded on 9/11, a flight attendant agrees to drive a precocious 10-year-old Pakistani-American boy from Texas to New York in search of his father, who works in the World Trade Center. The most ambitious special is the Discovery Channel’s six-hour “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero,” produced by Steven Spielberg. This comprehensive look at constructing a memorial, museum and 1 World Trade Center debuted last week and concludes Thursday night. Other specials of note: Tonight: “Inside 9/11: The War Continues” is a post-Osama bin Laden death update on the war on terror launched in the days after the 2001 attacks. 8 p.m., National Geographic. Monday: “Giuliani’s 9/11″ recalls how Mayor Rudy Giuliani led New York City in the aftermath of the attack. 8 p.m., National Geographic. Tuesday: “Witness: DC 9/11″ covers the attack on the Pentagon through home videos, emergency responders and newscasts. 9 p.m., National Geographic. Thursday: “Day of Destruction, Decade of War” has Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel examining the costly aftermath of the attacks. 8 p.m., MSNBC. “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001″ finds that many children younger than 12 have misconceptions about what happened that day. 9 p.m., Nickelodeon. Friday: “Freedom Rising” with Shepard Smith looks at the new 1 World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum through stories told by the workers. 8 p.m., Fox News Channel. “9/11: Science and Conspiracy” probes conspiracy theories. 8 p.m., National Geographic. Sept. 4: “9/11: Heroes of The 88th Floor” looks at the rescue work of Frank De Martini and Pablo Ortiz, who sacrificed their lives to save more than 70 people in the north tower. 9 p.m., TLC. Sept. 7: “Frontline” explores how the attacks have affected people’s views on religions and beliefs, and the forces of good and evil. 10 p.m., PBS. “Saved: 9/11/2001″ is the story of a mother who has kept the memory of her son (a firefighter who died on 9/11) by adopting his dog. 9 p.m., Animal Planet. “Rescue Me,” Denis Leary’s drama about New York firefighters inspired by the events of Sept. 11, has its finale. 10 p.m., FX. “Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Terror in the Dust” explores the ailments reported by first responders at ground zero. 11 p.m., CNN. Sept. 8: “Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11″ is a Soledad O’Brien report on the female first-responders at ground zero. 11 p.m., CNN. Sept. 9: “Fox News Reporting: 9/11: Timeline of Terror” recounts events as they occurred. 10 p.m., Fox News Channel. Sept. 10: “The Love We Make” is Paul McCartney’s behind-the-scenes look at the benefit concert that he helped organize in the aftermath of the attacks. 9 p.m., Showtime. Sept. 11: “The Concert for New York City: Ten Years Later” features Mick Jagger, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, The Who, Sheryl Crow and Jay-Z. 4 p.m., VH1. “102 Minutes That Changed America” retells the day through amateur photographs and videos, recorded voice mails, audio/video diaries and surveillance camera footage. 8:30 p.m., A&E and Lifetime. “The Flight That Fought Back” includes new evidence from the 9/11 Commission Report on the passengers and crew as they fought terrorists aboard Flight 93. 10 p.m., Discovery. “Making the 9/11 Memorial” profiles architect Michael Arad, the winning designer for the World Trade Center memorial. 8 p.m., History. “Twins of the Towers” tells of 40 people who lost a twin sibling in the attacks. 9 p.m., OWN. Sept. 13: “Frontline: The Man Behind the Mosque” is a profile of Sharif El-Gamal, the developer who wants to build a mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero. 10 p.m., PBS.

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