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Are you one of those people who rush out to buy a magazine or newspaper when something momentous happens? Death of a princess, catastrophic natural event, history-making presidential election?
Why is it that we feel compelled to buy and then keep print copies of such coverage, even if we've followed the developing news nonstop through other media?
What is it about holding and having that hard copy that fixes the event and our connection to it as nothing else can?
Perhaps there is something about a tactile connection to the stories or to having a personal record that proves that, yes, we were alive and aware of what was happening.
These saved magazines, personal archives if you will, also provide a chronicle of our times and preserve initial reactions long after events have drifted out of the news cycle. They are, as newspapers were once called, a first draft of history, a recording of a fairly immediate reaction to events that changed our concept of the world we live in.
Sometimes, as we later learn, that first draft isn't perfect. That, along with changing approaches to commemorating events, becomes part of the record, too.
This is an especially poignant topic for this day. 9/11 is obviously one of the biggest events in recent times and while the way we observe the event has changed over the last nine years, nothing can change the impact of those initial stories with their mix of shock, horror and incredible examples of courage.