Internet Archive Allows for Understanding, Viewing of 9/11 Footage
The Internet Archive has assembled 3,000 hours of 9/11 footage, ensuring its preservation for generations to come.
This Sunday will mark 10 years since the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. For New Yorkers as well as millions of Americans nationwide, the images of this tragic and devastating event will be forever seared into their hearts and minds. But for Generation Z, commonly referred to as the Internet Generation, the memories will be faint if they even exist at all.
To this end, California-based organization The Internet Archive has gathered together over 3,000 hours of recorded television footage of the coverage of that day, footage which spans locations throughout the world including Moscow, Iraq, London, and Japan. The website offers a timeline to view the events of the day, beginning as early as 8:30am when Today news anchor Katie Couric enthusiastically declared it was “a beautiful fall morning in Manhattan.”
What began as an ordinary Tuesday morning turned out to be anything but normal. It would have a commercial interrupted less than 20 minutes later to show footage of the smoking North Tower with “unconfirmed reports” of a plane crash into the building.
The timeline then continues to take us back through history to view live footage of the South Tower as Flight 175 crashed into it, the impact on the Pentagon, the first look we had of United 93 crashing in Pennsylvania, and the fall of both the Twin Towers. Stunned TV anchors held it together, but the shock and fear in their voices spoke of another story altogether: this ordinary Tuesday had changed the course of the nation, its people, and history as we know it in our lifetime.
The archive provides footage from 20 TV channels covering the entire week to follow, and also offers analysis from scholars on topics ranging from how poignancy quickly turned to the desire to see the United States use their military forces for revenge, to the meaning behind the simple act of being unable to stop watching. Perspectives from overseas footage are notably different than what the U.S. filmed, but the footage is still there. While it is easy to archive news articles, Brewster Kahle, the director of the site, notes that it is much harder to do so with live news reports without filters.
To learn more about The Internet Archive, visit the site at http://www.archive.org/details/911/day.
Heather Taylor is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.