When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

12 August 2005

An oral history of September 11

The City of New York, prodded by lawsuits under state freedom of information laws, is releasing over 12,000 pages of oral histories (among other records) from the September 11 terrorist attacks:
The histories - a mosaic of vision and memory recalling the human struggle against surging fire, confusion, and horror - were compiled by the New York City Fire Department beginning in October 2001, but to this date, no one from the department has read them all or used them for any official purpose.

The city has announced that it will also release today a written log of calls to the 911 system, many from trapped office workers, as well as tapes of fire dispatchers. Other records, including tapes of 911 operators, are being assembled and are not yet ready for release, city officials said.
("City to Release Oral Histories of 9/11 Friday," New York Times, 12 August 2005.)

The Times has already obtained some of this information through unofficial channels, and has compiled it here:

The 9/11 Records: Complete Coverage (New York Times)

While this may seem ghoulish or macabre to some, I think it is actually incredibly important. As someone who lives about a mile, as the crow flies, from Ground Zero, and who lost friends when the Towers went down, I want this documentary history made public and available.

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