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Sewing the edge of an American flag at the Annin Flag Company. Verona, New Jersey, March, 1943. Photo: Library of Congress

Thousands gather in New York's Union Square, to reflect on those lost. Photo: Joseph Rodriguez.

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A Community Responds
From September 11 through November, 2001, Margaret deNeergaard photographed her community's response to September 11. Photographs were taken with a digital camera from locations in Cobb County, Georgia, and the cities of Marietta, Smyrna, Kennesaw, and Roswell, Georgia. They are a part of The American Folklife Center's September 11, 2001, Documentary Project Collection.



After the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Americans joined in a spirit of patriotic mission. Sixty years later, following the September 11 attacks, many Americans flew flags and expressed intense feelings of national unity. But the differences in American patriotism post-Pearl Harbor and post-9/11 are as striking as the similarities.

"In this so-called war, everyone is silent. You don't really feel that the spirit is there, the same sense of mission."

— Journalist Helen Thomas

"It's much more subtle [after 9/11], it's much more nuanced than the, 'They hit us, now let's mobilize and go hit them' kind of patriotism that was called for in 1941 and '42."
— Historian Roger Wilkins

Short Audio Reactions (Real Audio)
1941: I never naturalized my tongue Jay Noreski, Washington, D.C. (0:39)
2001: The first time I shed a tear Adam Gospodarek, Madison, Wisconsin (0:39)

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