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9/11 on the web - the virtual memorials

Celebrity pledges to do good, portraits of 9/11 rescuers and rescue dogs, flag tributes and a ‘living museum’ app – some of the ways the September tragedy is remembered online.

A first responder works in the rubble of the former World Trade Center in New York
A first responder works in the rubble of the former World Trade Center in New York
Image: Beth A Keiser/AP/Press Association Images

IN THE WEEK running up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the web is hosting scores of virtual memorials.

It’s a pairing that pre-dates the many physical monuments still taking shape across America, some of them nearly a decade in the making.

Immediately after the attacks, hundreds of webmasters posted their own thoughts, links to the Red Cross, and other rescue agencies, photos and eyewitness accounts.

And as the recovery operation came to a close the online community began to focus on remembering the victims, and the nature of the online material became more reflective.

From flags, and conservative political groups who remind people to feel afraid every day, to the millions of poems, songs and films posted, TheJournal.ie profiles some of today’s online tributes below.

I will…

The 9/11 Tribute Movement is gathering pledges from New Yorkers on its website.

Those behind the site say they want people to make a public promise to do something good this year, in memory of those killed ten years ago.

Well-known celebrities are amongst those who’ve signed up – posting video pledges describing the good deed or charitable act they’ll set out to achieve in 2011.


New Yorkers remember

Reporters from The New York Times are working on several projects to honour the city.

One of them sees a collection of video from New Yorkers themselves, reflecting on how the events of 2001 changed them, and New York.

Watch their film here>

The forgotten heroes

Canadian news agency thestar.com has published a photo gallery of the rescue dogs of 9/11.

The pictures are taken from new book, Retrieved by Charlotte Dumas, who has profiled the 15 surviving dogs, all of whom still live with their handlers – 100 search dogs from 18 different states took part in the recovery operation.

Raise an American flag

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is using its, The Foundry, website to encourage homeowners right across the States to raise an American Flag on 11 September.

They asking people to send photographs of their flags to their website.

Organisers say they want to remind people that the fight to prevent another attack is not over until the threat no longer exists.

[caption id="attachment_216738" align="alignleft" width="288" caption="Stephan Savoia/AP/Press Association Images"][/caption]

Leave a tribute

Sites like Sept11thmemorial.com invites people to leave their thoughts.

Others, like worldstatesmen.org are more personal, and aren’t open for comment

Buy an app

The makers of the 9/11 memorial: Past, Present and Future app, say they’re offering people a way to reflect on the events of September 11 in private, and away from the cameras.

They say the focus on the future makes their memorial different from others – they call it a ‘living museum’.

The app is available free of charge from the App Store until September 12.

YouTube

Hundreds of films exist on YouTube, each of them made by someone who struggled to understand events by compiling footage from news broadcasts and from mobile phone images.

But there’s also strong representation from those who believe 9/11 was conspiracy, Loose Change – a feature length film on that topic – has been viewed over 100,000 times.

Remembering… virtually

Residents of online virtual world Second Life have created an island called Celestial Requiem NYC in memorial.

Second Lifers say they built the memorial because the world needed a place to visit, and the Reflected Absence memorial in New York city was too long in the making – in fact the Ground Zero site is only now reaching completion after years of legal wrangling with the families of the victims who were unhappy with architects’ proposals.

Retweet

Memorial fever’s hitting Twitter too, with 9/11 trending strongly.

And on this side of the world, memorials are also being planned via Twitter.

Artistic tributes

New York magazine has published a list of the literature, songs, poems, movies and plays inspired by the events of September 11.

Music has proven to be a particularly rich source of material with artists from Interpol to Sleater Kinney and from The Beastie Boys to Paul McCartney all penning lyrics in tribute to the fellow New Yorkers who died that day.

View Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising, from The Rising album, which was also inspired by 9/11 below – a song he performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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