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21 Aug 2011

National Constitution Center commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11 Terrorist Attacks

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August 21, 2011 Category: Local Posted by:

As the nation approaches the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the National Constitution Center is uniting with a coalition of leaders from the City of Philadelphia, the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia, the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, and other community groups to plan a city-wide commemoration that fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity across lines of religious, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.


The coalition has created a unifying pledge that encourages the public to share their signatures, hopes, prayers and commitments for the future. The Pledge states that “We the People of Greater Philadelphia unite in grief, remembrance, and hope, stand for justice, tolerance, and compassion, and commit to building community, understanding, and a more perfect union.” Visitors to the National Constitution Center on 9/11 are invited to add their signatures and thoughts to a giant copy of the Pledge, which will be located in the Grand Hall Lobby and online at


The Center will open early at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 11, and admission will be Free to first responders (fire, police and emergency medical personnel). Due to popular demand and the timeliness of the exhibition’s content, the Center also is extending the run of Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America, which dramatically illustrates the challenge of securing our nation without compromising the civil liberties upon which it was founded. Visitors will have the chance to see 9/11 artifacts, including fragments of the planes that hit the World Trade Center, first responder rescue badges, a remnant of a New York City police car that was recovered from the Fresh Kills Landfill, a bent 78th floor stairwell sign from one of the Twin Towers, and a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. Guests also can view a video created by Fox 29, the official media partner of Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs, featuring post-9/11 news footage of acts of terror, government surveillance, airport security, public reactions, and more.


In addition, the Center will host several free, on-site programs that reflect on the events from that unforgettable day and examine the impact of 9/11 on American life today. Two public gatherings also will take place on Independence Mall.


Additional events include:


How the 9/11 Decade Changed America

Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

National Constitution Center F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Program Admission: $10 for non-members, $7 for members, students and teachers

Reservations Required: 215.409.6700 or

In partnership with the Truman National Security Fellows, the National Constitution Center presents an address by national security expert Richard Clarke. According to Clarke, in the decade following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has undergone significant changes in how we view ourselves and how we conduct ourselves in world affairs. He argues there has been a radical reinterpretation of the Constitution, which has led to a redefinition in the relationship between the citizen and the state and a reshaping of our vision of the world. In his speech, Clarke will address what he sees as a troubling erosion of constitutional rights and an expansion of American engagement in overseas wars.


Dramatic Readings

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

National Constitution Center F.M. Kirby Auditorium

FREE with museum admission.

Professional actors, directors, playwrights, and designers from New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. will read the stories of the victims of 9/11 and discuss where we are as a nation ten years later.


Memorials: How a Nation Remembers

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.

National Constitution Center, inside The Story of We the People exhibition

FREE with museum admission

This 20-minute, interactive program explores how Americans remember people and events throughout history. Visitors also will have the opportunity to explore the history of our nation’s most interesting memorials, including Little Bighorn, the U.S.S. Arizona, and the Lincoln Memorial.


Prayer Gathering of Memory and Hope

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

Arch Street Friends Meeting House, 4th & Arch Streets

The Philadelphia community is invited to attend an interfaith prayer gathering, “Memory and Hope,” led by the Religious Leaders Council at Arch Street Meetinghouse.

Public Commemoration on Independence Mall

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 5:30 p.m.

Independence Mall

The City of Philadelphia, National Constitution Center, Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia, Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, and the National Park Service will host a large public gathering on Independence Mall led by Mayor Michael A. Nutter.


Dana Priest: Top Secret America

Monday, September 12, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

National Constitution Center F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Program Admission: $10 for non-members, $7 for members, students and teachers.

Reservations Required: 215.409.6700 or

The top-secret world the government created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become so enormous and secretive that it’s hard to determine how much it costs, how many people it employs or how many agencies are possibly duplicating work being done elsewhere. Is the system that was put in place to keep the United States safe actually putting us in greater danger? Award-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest joins the Center to discuss her new book, Top Secret America, and the size, shape, mission and consequences of this invisible universe of over 1,300 government facilities in every state in America; nearly 2,000 outside companies used as contractors; and more than 850,000 people granted “Top Secret” security clearance.


For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit

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