A Trip to the Newseum: 9/11 Memorial

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There are events that occur and define the lives of a generation. Our grandparents remember the World Wars, our parents witnessed the Civil Rights movement, and our generation endured 9/11. On Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. was the target of a terrorist attack that destroyed the Twin Towers and part of the Pentagon, and many brave reporters were there to capture it all.

My visit to the 9/11 Memorial at the Newseum in Washington D.C. was eye-opening. Although we see the footage over and over again on the news, I never took the time to think about how that footage was captured or who was behind the coverage. The wall of front pages from around the world was incredible and ranged from emotions of sadness to emotions of anger.

Photo by Kendra Fernandes

Headlines from newspapers across the world. Photo by Kendra Fernandes

There was a section of the exhibit dedicated to photographer Bill Biggart who was the only working journalist killed covering the attack. This part struck me because it made me realize how dedicated this man and many others that day are to their work. Journalists and reporters responded just as the firefighters and police did: These individuals did their duty to bring information to the viewers.

This exhibit stirred my interest in communication in the wake of a crisis. Public relations is a fast-paced environment that demands specialists stay on top of developing information and help diffuse this information to the media. At the time I was too young to realize how dedicated the journalists were that day. This day not only changed our political affairs and national security, but it also changed the population and the men and women in the journalism and public relations fields. Visiting the exhibit as an adult gave me a new perspective on how the media responded and has helped motivate me to be as passionate and dedicated to my career as those men and women were that day.