As an expatriated New Yorker, I just wanted to take a moment to commend Google for the way it's
commemorating the anniversary of the September 11 attacks - or rather, for the way it's not.
It would have been easy for Google to take its usual route for marking important holidays and events and replacing its logo with an over-the-top Google Doodlethat likely would have ended up feeling crass and disrespectful.
But instead, the search giant showed an admirable amount of restraint and tact by placing a ribbon and a "Remembering September 11th" link prominently under its search box (as seen to the right), with the homepage otherwise unchanged.
That link goes to a brief overview of Google's involvement in 9/11 remembrance projects, as explained by Andy Berndt of the Google Creative Lab in New York City:
The events of September 11, 2001 changed the lives of so many people around the world. In the years since that day, thoughtful online efforts have provided an outlet for grief, for learning and a means for healing. Virtual spaces have helped us to remember the victims and honor the courage of those who risked their lives to save others.
Berndt mentions Google's involvement in the 9/11 Memorial's Make History site, which let users place their photos and videos on a map, slowly putting together a collaborative timeline of that day. YouTube and Google helped The New York Times put together a video channel archiving news broadcasts and public reflections. A New Jersey fire department built a system called "First-Responder," at least partially on Google code and platforms, to help EMTs and emergency technicians coordinate in the face of crisis.
"It’s been an honor to see these tools being built using our platforms and products—and humbling to see them come to life," Berndt writes in conclusion.
I have to applaud Google for keeping their remembrance tactful, understated, and appropriately serious, without veering into the maudlin or morbid.
Read the 9/11 Diary series:
Read the 9/11 Diary series:
- It’s been ten years since that morning
- The day the planes hit
- The morning after
- Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
- Still processing after all these days
- Keeping calm. Keeping sane.
- Why 9/11 proved terrorism is a failed strategy (9/11 Diary)
- How 9/11 Changed My IT Consulting Career
- 9/11, social media and viral news
- How Mumbaikars used Twitter and Google to coordinate help during the terrorist attack
- Can a cyber-attack really be considered an ‘act of war’?
- Special Report: September 11: Ten years after
During our 9/11 retrospective coverage, I invite you to post your thoughts and remembrances, but I also request you remain respectful and polite. This isn’t just a story of politics. This is a story of real people, their families, and their loss. Courtesy is demanded at a time like this. Thanks!