7 9/11 Documentaries to Watch in Honor of the 20th Anniversary

On Sept. 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by militants of al-Qaeda who carried out terrorist attacks against the United States. On this fateful day, two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane, United 93, crashed in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives on 9/11, and America was forever changed.

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In honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Distractify has rounded up a list of new documentaries that you can watch that share the heartfelt stories of civilians, first responders, kids, and more, to remember those who lost their lives on this tragic day.

1. ‘Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror’ (Netflix)

Source: Netflix

The five-part Netflix docuseries Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror “answers the questions: Who attacked the U.S. and why? What breakdowns in intelligence allowed it to happen? How did decisions at the highest levels of three administrations in the war on terror bring us to this moment?”

The series will feature interviews with U.S. officials, former CIA members, and military veterans as well as Taliban commanders, Afghanistan National Army soldiers, Afghan warlords, and Afghan civilians.

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2. ‘9/11: One Day in America’ (National Geographic)

'9/11: One Day in America' (National Geographic)

Source: FEMA

The National Geographic documentary was made in collaboration with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The chilling six-part docuseries examines hundreds of hours of archival footage taken on that fateful day and dives deeper into the stories of survivors and first responders on Sept. 11, 2001.

9/11: One Day in America is available on National Geographic and Hulu.

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3. Spike Lee’s ‘NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½’ (HBO)

'NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½'

Source: HBO

Spike Lee’s four-part documentary, NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½, details the lives of New York residents, beginning with the coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19) and traveling back to the fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001. The famed director shot more than 200 interviews with people sharing their firsthand accounts of 9/11 and NYC residents banding together.

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4. ‘Rebuilding Hope: The Children of 9/11’ (Discovery Plus)

'Rebuilding Hope: The Children of 9/11'

Source: Discovery Plus

In association with People magazine, Rebuilding Hope: The Children of 9/11 documents four kids who were young or not yet born when they lost parents on Sept. 11.

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5. ‘The CIA: Race Against Time — The True Story of the CIA and 9/11’ (CBS)

Sept. 11, 2001

Source: Getty Images

The two-hour documentary details the warnings leading up to the attacks and the CIA failing to stop them. Additionally, CIA officials speak to their efforts in finding Osama bin Laden.

The CIA: Race Against Time — The True Story of the CIA and 9/11 airs Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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6. ‘Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center’ (History Channel)

Twin Towers

Source: Getty Images

This documentary examines the collapse of the Twin Towns from an architectural and engineering lens. First-hand testimonies, expert interviews, and graphics show how the Towers were built … and how they fell.

Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center airs Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. EST on History Channel.

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7. ‘9/11: Four Flights’ (History Channel)

'9/11: Four Flights'

Source: History

In this History Channel documentary, family members and friends of those on the four hijacked flights share the stories of their loved ones aboard.

9/11: Four Flights airs Sept. 11 on the History Channel at 8 p.m. EST.

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