Recalling the Ghosts of 9/11: Convergent Memorializing at the Opening of the National 9/11 Memorial

Aaron Hess, Art Herbig


This study examines the physical and digital existence of the National 9/11 Memorial located at Ground Zero inNew York Cityas it stood on September 12, 2011. Through a rhetorical analysis of the interplay between the physical memorial and its digital smartphone applications (apps), we argue that the digital apps create a contradictory, paradoxical experience of the physical memorial. Whereas the memorial invites public reflection moving toward a sense of renewal, the digital apps privatize the experience through archives of information and images that suspend the events of 9/11 as a perpetual trauma. Such convergent technologies challenge the memorializing process, providing information in place of imagination.

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