September 12, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Six years later, 9/11 still big news

Even as Gen. David Petraeus outlines his plan to Congress and President Bush endorses it, many editors found the remembrance of the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack to be the most front-page-worthy story. The story also lent itself to emotion-triggering visual images, which were an important part of many front pages today.

In Gadsden, Ala., the local paper showed photos of children, many too young to remember the 2001 attacks, at a balloon-releasing ceremony at a local elementary school to commemorate Sept. 11. The Los Angeles Times led with the story "A Mother Never Forgets" about a mother's grieving for her daughter who was lost that day. Denver's Rocky Mountain News, perhaps trying to explain why the anniversary was so poignant, said, "Six years later, pain lingers."

The Washington Post showed a photo of the local ceremony at the Pentagon for the lives lost there. Other papers from the areas of the attacks: AM New York showed mourners with a headline, "Day of Pain." Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.) said, "Heads bow in memory," while the Beaver County (Pa.) Times showed a photo of the national memorial in Shanksville, Pa.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution led with a quote headline, “’We ask God to hug them for us'" and a photo of a mourner wrapped in an American flag. The Daily Chronicle from DeKalb, Ill., offered an interview with local firefighters about the impact 9/11 has had on their jobs and their lives.

The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., told the story with a striking photo under the simple headline, "6 Years Later." The Portland (Maine) Press Herald headline, "On hollow ground," referred to a sadness felt by families about the event’s being moved from Ground Zero. The San Antonio Express-News had a photo of the memorial roses in the reflecting pool, surrounded by police officers paying tribute. They discussed the unresolved issues — Osama bin Laden still uncaptured — and Americans’ confidence in the safety of the U.S. today. 

Papers from all corners of the U.S. joined in with one voice, one message: We will never forget.

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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