Let’s give this a try.

October 25th, 2010 § 2 comments

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Construction at the World Trade Center Site. These huge cubes are the footprint of the Twin Towers. Soon they'll be waterfalls as part of the National 9/11 Memorial.

I got back from an incredible research trip a few weeks ago. I went out to NYC for the 9th anniversary of 9/11. While I was there I spent a lot of time near Ground Zero, visiting memorial sites and interviewing people involved in memorial projects. While all of these traditional research tools were incredibly valuable, I also realized that some of my most informative conversations about the way people are feeling right now were the unofficial sort. The kinds of conversations that happen over a three-hour cup of coffee with a friend I haven’t seen for 2 years.

Now that I’m back in LA I’ve been trying to figure out a way to keep those conversations going. I’ve decided to start a blog where I can post ideas and questions about memory after 9/11 and hear back from readers about their own experiences. I know some readers will be shy about commenting, but I’m hoping many of you will jump right in.

Memory is a complicated and layered process. If you ask me and any of my 3 sisters about our childhood I’m sure we’ll have very different stories to tell. We all grew up in the same home, with the same parents and we’re only a few years apart. Still, our individual personalities, lived experiences, beliefs and present day viewpoint color every memory.

Over the next few months I’ll delve into the material ways in which personal memories become integrated into a broader history of 9/11. I do hope you’ll join me on this journey.

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§ 2 Responses to Let’s give this a try."

  • donna mercer says:

    I’m also fascinated by the vagaries of memory – what sticks, what doesn’t, what is changed by the rememberer. I remember best with photo-reinforcement: if I didn’t take pictures I’d be lost!
    911 happened as we were driving to the paint store to choose colors for the remodel of my husband’s childhood home before we moved in. Radio report sounded weird, and when I got to work at MCA Records in Santa Monica, the TV was providing the images that are now seared into the collective memory of the world. When the first tower fell, a coworker and I hugged and fought back the tears. Then everyone went home to watch in our isolated nests and contemplate the new terrible world we were entering…

  • Zipporah says:

    Thanks Donna. So interesting to hear your story. So what is it about the photos that help you remember? Do they remind you of something you forgot or reinforce what you already know to be true . . .

    I wonder about this all the time . . . the truth that photos are perceived to hold and the myriad ways in which photos have historically been manipulated . . .

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