911 tapes are personal, informative

Editorial Staff and Editorial Staff

It is the month of September and a very important anniversary is approaching. The tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 will be two years old in a few weeks. Many people will mourn the horrific loss of life on that day when the towers fell. But, no one will grieve more deeply than the families and close friends of those killed.

Another significant event, however less well-known, has just occurred. The recordings of radio transmissions and 911 emergency calls have just been released to The New York Times. The morality of this decision is in serious question here at The BG News.

Most of the phone calls made were either 911 emergency calls or between loved ones who were saying their last words. Now, 911 emergency calls are occasionally released to the public with some editing in place. Hopefully, the emergency calls released have been done so with the purpose of informing the public and with some regard to the feelings of the caller and the caller’s family.

It is not clear as to which of the September 11 emergency calls would be hardest to read or listen to, the hysterically frantic calls for help, or the calls from those who didn’t realize the severity of the situation. There are some who have the idea (this includes some relatives of victims) that releasing excerpts of the tapes to the public will shed light on how the situation unfolded. To be more specific, the tapes might help people understand why there were still people in the towers when there was ample time for them to evacuate.

The radio transmissions between firemen and police officers, which were also released to the public, are also supposed to inform people of what happened. These tapes will probably be of more importance for the purpose of understanding the situation because they are communications between the very people who were handling the situation.

However informative the 911 emergency calls and the radio transmissions, the fact still stands that September 11, 2001 was a horrific day for the entire nation. Most of the voices on the recordings perished in the worst terrorist attack the United States has ever seen.

Are the families of the victims really ready to have their loved-ones last words released to the world? The United States is one of the few places where citizens can fight for the right to be informed on situations such as September 11. However, this right sometimes tramples the right to privacy. The tragedy is not that long passed, and the release of these tapes could have a serious effect on those still grieving losses.