We talked in class today about the challenge we sometimes face as reporters of telling old stories in new ways. One of those kinds of stories is the “anniversary story.”
I hereby submit that there isn’t a reader on the planet who could read this extraordinary story from the Stamford Advocate and say to him/herself, “Oh, yawn, another 9/11 story.”
Here’s why: The story has intimacy through details. It uses quotes masterfully (note how the writer, John Breunig, employs repetition in a particularly powerful quote from the widow). The story holds back on what’s in that note just long enough to build suspense without feeling manipulative.
I think you’ll find that it makes you give real thought to the enduring pain of 9/11 for the families who lost loved ones that day so many years ago. And that’s what a great anniversary story should do.