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Oral Histories of 9/11

September 9, 2011 8:35:33 PM PDT
As part of the memorial, there's also a museum filled with artifacts like a crushed ambulance and someone's driver's license. And then there are the oral histories, tape recordings of what happened from the people who survived, and from those who loved people who didn't.

Joe Daniels heads up the 9/11 memorial and museum and a key component at the museum will be the stories of that day.

"There's something about hearing it in the voice of people who are so close to it that it really hits it home for the listener, our visitor," said Daniels.

Jenny Pacucki is one of the museum's two oral historians.

She and her colleague have already recorded 500 histories.

"Often times, people are really nervous they don't talk about it at all and even though 10 years have passed. It's still a really emotional topic to speak about," she said.

Inside the museum's preview site in lower Manhattan, there's also a recording booth where visitors are invited to share their stories in a sound proofed room.

So far there are thousands of recordings, story corps is also compiling stories and the listening stations at the preview site are similar to what you'll find at the museum.

Sometimes it's not the words that get you, it's the pauses.

"Those moments, the silences I think are almost as powerful or more powerful that the acutal narrative of the story itself," adds Jenny.

For those who tell their stories often say it's a cathartic experience and some take comfort in fact that their stories will be heard again and again.

"We want to continue to collect these oral histories for as long as the museum will exist," adds Daniels.


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