By Tanner Stransky
Updated September 02, 2011 at 02:30 PM EDT
Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Smithsonian Channel

In the days leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the networks will be rolling out in-depth looks at the lives mourned and lessons learned. In addition to coverage on all the major news shows, here are the 10 commemorative specials most worth watching:

Making the 9/11 Memorial: History, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. What’s happening with the tribute at Ground Zero? This one-hour special goes behind the scenes at the memorial, from conception to installation.

The Twins of the Twin Towers: OWN, Sept. 11, 9 p.m. In a fascinating twist, Twins profiles the more than 40 people who lost their twin in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

9/11: Day That Changed the World: Smithsonian, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this documentary features interviews with some of the most powerful people during the 9/11 attacks, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Rudy Giuliani.

Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11: CNN, Sept. 8, 11 p.m. Soledad O’Brien spotlights how women — ranging from firefighters and EMS workers to cops — contributed mightily to the relief efforts.

The Love We Make: Showtime, Sept. 10, 9 p.m. Cameras follow Paul McCartney as he makes his way through NYC in the days after the destruction, trying to make sense of what happened and planning the epic benefit show the Concert for New York City.

9/11: 10 Years Later: CBS, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. The minds behind the film 9/11 update their critically acclaimed work with new interviews and Robert De Niro as host.

When Pop Culture Saved America: Bio, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. How did Hollywood react after the attacks? This delves into entertainers’ contributions after the crisis and showcases interviews with Kristin Chenoweth, Denis Leary, Dan Rather, Regis Philbin,and more.

Children of 9/11: NBC, Sept. 5, 10 p.m. More than 3,000 children lost a parent when the towers collapsed. This heartbreaking special gives avoice to a handful of the attacks’ youngest victims.

The Space Between: USA, Sept. 11, 9 p.m. Oscar winner Melissa Leo’s powerful 2010 Tribeca Film Festival entrant — which examines how the attacks brought people together and renewed the American spirit — makes its TV debut.

NOVA: Engineering Ground Zero: PBS, Sept. 7, check local listings This episode of Nova digs into the five years of construction of One World Trade Center and includes interviews with tower architect David Childs, memorial designer Michael Arad, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

For more on 9/11 specials, check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

Image Credit: Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Smithsonian Channel

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