What They Saw

Today, a couple released video footage they shot on September 11, 2001, “36 floors up and 500 yards from the North Tower” of the World Trade Center. The video, “September 11, 2001: What We Saw“.

The video is riveting, because of the raw emotion expressed by the observants’ disbelief and grief shared by so many of us that day—and because the viewer knows what is yet to occur: The second plane hitting the South Tower, the collapse of the South Tower, and the collapse of the North Tower. If there is a perspective of looking with hindsight, this video is it. 

The 26-minute video is not for the feint of heart. You will re-experience the emotions of five years ago.

[youtube https://youtu.be/0BhAgjjjAiw]


I applaud the couple for not seeking to profit from their video and for making it publicly available. They explain in the opening text:

Releasing this tape was a difficult decision for us because of its emotional and personal nature, and the potential for misuse. We feel, however, that our unique perspective has an important historical value, and shows the horror of the day without soundtracks or hype often seen in other accounts…

We chose Revver to distribute our video because of its artist-friendly licensing terms and support for Creative Commons.

I can think of few better examples than this video for what Creative Commons is meant to be used for.

Photo Credit: Robert J. Fisch

Editor’s Notes: On July 28, 2017, this post was recovered, using Archive.org Wayback Machine, from a snapshot of joewilcox.com during 2006, when months of content was lost while changing blogging systems and webhosts. Date and timestamps are accurate.

However, Revver is defunct. The video links to a version that I posted to YouTube on Sept. 11, 2017—recovered from a copy I downloaded more than a decade earlier. I don’t recall whether or not in 2006 that I authenticated the vid, but my habit would have been before writing about or sharing it.