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A decade on: The world remembers 9/11

The events of September 11 2001 reverberated around the world. They affected everyone, American and non-American alike. It was to be expected, therefore, that various forms of social media would be flooded with memorials and remembrances as people marked the tenth anniversary of the fateful attacks.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, recognising the power of technology, created an official application “as a guide to understanding 9/11 through the eyes of who witnessed the events”.

Similarly, the New York Times created an interactive tool where people across the world could record where they were that day and their thoughts on how the world has changed since.

On social networks, particularly Twitter where the hashtag #GodBlessAmerica was a top trending topic throughout the day, people chose to share their memories of where they were on September 11 2001.

Perhaps more poignantly, those at various commemorative events, and especially the event held at Ground Zero in New York, shared images of what they were witnessing before them.

ABC News journalist, Cleopatra Andreadis, gauged the feelings of her colleagues in an image she posted of reporters at the memorial.

Another image from Andreadis, who using Instagram — the popular iPhone picture application — was able to create beautiful images that became very popular on Twitter, simply depicted an American flag flying on a building adjacent to Ground Zero.

Images of the Stars and Stripes were a popular theme throughout the day.

Old images of the Twin Towers as they once stood, such as this from Nicole Hansen, were popular amongst social networks.

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv shared images of the the memorial held in Jerusalem Hills on its Flickr stream.

A Beatles a fan account on Twitter sent out a poignant image of John Lennon before the Statue of Liberty giving the peace sign.

Videos were also popular.

A Reuters report of US service members on the front-line in Afghanistan, telling their stories of where they were on 9/11 and what they think has happened since was very popular.

At an American Football match between the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons, tenor James Cornelison gave a rousing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.

An image from that same game was also popular on Twitter.

A heartbreaking video made to show the events of that day a decade ago in the exact sequence which they occurred, was one of the most watched and shared videos on social networks.

A video of the day’s memorial and commemorative events set over pop-star Beyonce’s, “I Was Here”, was also widely shared.

However, regardless how many tears were shed, the prevailing message of the day was simple.

Author | Mvelase Peppetta

Mvelase Peppetta
Mvelase is a Senior Account Manager at Irvine Bartlett one of the most sought after full service public relations companies in South Africa. Mvelase is passionate about all things digital and the social media landscape, particularly as it relates to the integration of digital public relations management within the traditional... More

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