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The events of September Eleventh 2001 shook America and they shook the world. Nearly 3,000 people died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania. The day has divided our history into pre-9/11 and post-9/11 worlds. In the aftermath of the attacks some family members who lost loved ones began to ask questions and pressed for an investigation into how the attacks could have happened. The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission was formed and after over a year of pressure, the administration of President George W. Bush established the 9/11 Commission.
In Unanswered Questions: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission ignored, author Ray McGinnis explores the efforts of these families to keep the 9/11 Commission on track. Their purpose was clearly stated by Kristen Breitweiser who said “We are going to get to the bottom of this and we are going to make sure someone is held responsible so that nobody else ever had to walk in our shoes.” While many think of the families who lost loved ones only in the context of the published obituaries of September Eleventh victims, and anniversary observances, Unanswered Questions examines the exemplary citizen advocacy of those who survived, and why these families unanswered questions still matter.
Gaze at an intriguing portrait. Contemplate the unanswered questions of September Eleventh, the victims’ family members posing them with rising urgency, and the U.S. government stonewalling their search for answers. What is going on here? Ray McGinnis is an artist. He allows the members of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission to speak for themselves. They do so eloquently, raising a host of queries challenging the public story. The government’s devastating non-response provokes still deeper questions. Can a government investigate itself for a crime that has given it the rationale for a permanent war on others? What has been going on here for almost two decades?
Take a deep breath. Read and absorb this brilliant narrative, seen through the courage of those who turned suffering into demands for every scrap of evidence to be found in the sanitized crime scene and the more-accessible public domain. See the post-September-Eleventh world we live in through their enlightening questions.
Finally, the 9/11 book I have been waiting for. Unsensational, fact-based, and devastating to the official story. It’s easier to show what didn’t happen than what did, which is why the families’ questions were so important and should still be asked of the still-living witnesses and possible conspirators. Bravo to Ray for organizing this complicated story so cogently.