The attack of September 11, 2001: Flashbulb memories, collective memory and bearing witness
Pr. William Hirst (The New School, Department of Psychology, New York)
Abstract: Even after substantial delays, people can remember both the details of the event of the attack of September 11, but also where they were when they learned about an event. Building on a 10-year longitudinal study of memories for 9/11, a study of the effects of ageing on flashbulb and collective memories of the attack, and the study of intergenerational transmission of flashbulb memories concerning 9/11, we explore the role of social identity and the functions of flashbulb memories. In particular, we examine the way the presence of a flashbulb memory allows one to give witness to an event that they may not have directly experienced.