If you are an American and are old enough to remember, this coming Sunday will mark one of the darker anniversaries in our history. Even if you aren’t old enough to have first hand memory of that terrible day 10 years ago, our intrepid news service will make sure you experience the horror in vivid, high resolution detail, complete with commentary from survivors and family and friends of those who died.
There is no way I can forget the images of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or the stories of those who fought and sacrificed their lives to prevent further harm in the skies over Pennsylvania, and I’m sure that I don’t want to be reminded by, or be a part of any of the media circus that seems to erupt around the anniversary of such events, especially on this, the tenth anniversary of the attack.
I’m reluctant to watch the news or read the papers or news sites because I know that they, our news organizations, won’t settle for a mere mention or reminder of the attack. We’ll get stylized made-for-TV movies, expert commentary supported by 3D computer created reenactments, and interviews designed to wring a tear from the most hard-hearted of us. I suppose there are those who believe that more information is best, and I believe that too, but I also believe in respecting the memory of what and who we’ve lost, and I’ve come to distrust our news organizations to provide insightful coverage without going overboard.
I guess it is their right to deliver their stories in whatever way they deem fit. I don’t have to watch, and I won’t. However, I do want to understand more about the events surrounding the attacks, and what has happened to the sites of those attacks since. It has been ten years after all, and, for better or worse, the world has moved on. I want to understand what has become of us after that experience.
I guess that points out one of the benefits of the Internet. You can tailor your access to information however you want, and not have your views dictated to you by a few news channels. Few things epitomize that aspect of freedom of information than the breath of news applications available on mobile devices. There are literally hundreds of news apps available for iOS and Android that let you take in many views, opinions, and commentary on any subject.
Discover, the Wikipedia magazine app, for instance, can provide discussions on a wide range of 9/11 related subjects, and, of course, every news agency from the BBC to United Arab Emirates have apps with 9/11 information with their own particular twist.
Discover: Wikipedia Magazine offers lots of 9/11 information
What I wanted, however, was an app that lets me go to one place and find a broad and balanced look at the events and issues surrounding 9/11. Unfortunately, I’ve found no such app, but I did find The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future.
This iPad-only app offers what I believe is a well balanced look at the the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center buildings. It includes videos, photos, and brief commentary on the history of the WTC buildings, the events and issues surrounding the day of the attacks, and what has happened to the site since, and what is planned. While Discover, via Wikipedia, offers more technical information, few outlets offer the breath of visual content contained in 9/11 Memorial.
What I also like is that opinions are kept to a minimum. If you want that sort of thing there are plenty of other ways to get it. This app just present its info in a clear, unbiased, and respectful way.
There is one major nit I need to pick with the developers of the 9/11 Memorial. The name implies that the app looks at all aspects of the 9/11 attack, but actually, it only details the New York attack. Missing are any information about the Pentagon attack, and the failed attack that resulted in the United Airlines jet crashing near Shanksville, PA. If anything, the app’s name should be changed to point out its WTC focus.
Even if you are looking for a broader view, the 9/11 Memorial: Past Present, and Future app is worth having. The videos and photos are engrossing, and the app is free.
That’s a wrap for this week. More free news apps below with direct links.