Unless you were born after the mid-nineties, you remember where you were on September 11, 2001. We all know what happened that day and watched on television, in horror as the worst of these events actually unfolded. In the last twelve years I have heard many people tell their story of that day, where they were and how they felt, as well as their individual connections to the tragic events. I landed in Washington, DC just minutes after the plane hit the first tower. I was at Reagan National Airport, not far from the Pentagon when it was hit. My day was spent trying to process these tragic events while I tried to find a way to get out of Washington and back home to my family in Ohio.
I’ve seen museum exhibitions that try to tell the story. Some of these exhibitions have been able to convey the horror as well as the lessons learned from the attack. I am always drawn to what we learned and how these stories are told. We saw the ability of humans to do evil and learned of the abilities of humans to do good. Steve Rosenbaum, on the TED blog talks of the need to preserve the lessons and the artifacts in a “museum, not a mausoleum.”
In the video below, Steve talks about the process of creating the National September 11 Memorial Museum. He not only talks about the artifacts but he talks about what we learned, and how the story can be told.