This coming Sunday, as everyone knows, will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The commemorative articles have been numerous; the television specials, countless. Even the app world is involved.
Explore 9/11: the Official Memorial App
This app was created by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as a guide to understanding the event from the perspective of those who witnessed it. The app is divided into three parts: A walking tour around the World Trade Center, which is narrated by reporters, rescue workers, and volunteers; a selection of images of the attack and its aftermath; and a timeline of the day’s horrific events, with photos to accompany it. Though the app is intended to be used primarily by people visiting Ground Zero, its content carries elsewhere.
9/11 Memorial Guide
This is another official app by the September 11 Memorial & Museum, but this one focuses more on the people who were lost on the tragic day, with a movement away from hard facts into more personal territory. With the app, you can see the new 9/11 memorial that will be revealed this weekend, as well as the names of those marked upon it. Users can also listen to remembrances of the victims by family and friends.
9/11, by Marc Rochkind
This application offers a more extensive, and therefore brutal, look at the attacks. Over 1,200 photos are included, and they can be viewed individually, in a slideshow, or in a grid. The terrible nature of the pictures makes for some uncomfortable viewing - fittingly, the first page within the app is a disclaimer - and contain enough detail that they were used to prosecute one of the attackers.
World Trade Center 360 Virtual Tour
Made by MotusLab, this is a virtual tour of the World Trade Center before its destruction. Users can see the panorama of New York City from the South Tower and a 360-degree view of the building and New York City in 1998, three years before the attacks.
This app is exactly what its title says it is: a scrolling list of facts by the numbers about the attacks, a sobering reminder of what was lost on that day.
All of these apps are a somber start to the weekend, to be sure, but while we remember the horrific events of a decade ago, it’s uplifting to think that smartphones and tablets weren’t even a figment of our imagination then, progress that suggests our country was strong enough to rebound and create devices that changed the world. No matter how hard we’re hit, it seems, we’ll continue to innovate and make the world better - and that’s the truest form of recovery.