The chronology of events at the World Trade Center towers on 9-11 unfold through the audio recordings of actual FDNY radio transmissions, juxtaposed with home video of an earlier family trip to the World Trade Center, representing the way it looked on 9-10, the day before the attacks.
Hours of radio dispatches and communications were studied from the fateful 9-11 day to compile transmissions into a timeline from the dispatchers' perspectives of just before the first plane hit the tower until shortly after the second tower fell.
Having been above the floors where the planes hit the towers, I still can't imagine what it must have been like to be there. To have no way out. To feel those giant structures buckle and collapse. Terror is truly the only apt word.
As it was, the tragedy was of course immense. Had the planes hit an hour later, though, hundreds of tourists might have been admiring the wondrous view from the once-tallest building in the world, just like my own family had done as seen in this video shot earlier in 2001.
I kept this video stored away for a long time. What was briefly a video album of a day full of life and wonder had become one of incredible sorrow, forever attached to the day of the attacks. After ten years, I finally brought the videos out of storage and paired them with the voices and sounds of 9-11.
This film is my interpretation of an event where tragedy and terror marked a line between eras. The WTC towers are gone. Forever. Perhaps some of the workers in my video also perished. Certainly some of the voices heard on the FDNY dispatches are gone as well. Yet in some way they exist, as ghosts in my computer.
When our country thinks about how to continue to proceed as a nation in the era that began on 9-11, I think it's important to remember that we're fighting for 9-10 -- the way it was the day before 9-11.
Please note, in case it wasn't clear in the description above, that the video images were not taken exactly on 9-10, but earlier in 2001. However, they represent what the World Trade Center, its views, and its workers and visitors, looked like on 9-10 and all the days before the 9-11 attacks. The FDNY and EMS audio recordings are presented in chronological order.
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