Entries in 9/11 (2)


Walmart Rejects Student Singers on 9/11?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PEMBROKE PINES, Fla.) -- No good deed really does go unpunished, as students from Coconut Palm Elementary in Miramar, Fla., discovered on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11.

On that day, 75 students ages 7 to 10 -- all of whom were born post 9/11-- showed up at a Walmart store in Pembroke Pines, Fla. dressed in red, white and blue to sing “God Bless America,” as had been previously arranged.

But according to the Sun-Sentinel, a Walmart representative forbade the students from singing inside the store. Instead of singing inside the store, where students had hoped to surprise and cheer customers, they performed under a flag at half-mast outside.

At that time, police showed up in response to a report of a “flash mob situation.”

On Wednesday evening, Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling apologized on behalf of the company.

“We regret this happened and sincerely apologize to all those involved for this experience,” Whaling said in a statement to ABC News. “We recognize that this situation should have been handled differently and have reached out to the school to apologize and welcome them back to the store. We’ve enjoyed working with the school and want to continue our support.”

According to school principal Terri Thelmas, the performance had originally been approved by a manager named "Frank." But Frank was nowhere to be found when students arrived; they were later told he was fired. Another manager said the chorus was a “liability” and refused them permission to sing indoors.

“The wind was taken out of everybody’s sails -- from the parents to the teachers to the kids,” Michael DiScascio, 41, of Miramar, whose 9-year-old daughter was part of the chorus, told the newspaper. “There was a lot of confusion and disappointment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apps Provide Living History of the World Trade Center

Brian August(NEW YORK) -- As One World Trade Center rises in Lower Manhattan, three smartphone apps are helping to ensure that its larger predecessors and the stories they housed will forever be remembered and have a place in the New York City skyline.

Explore 9/11 and 110 Stories offer innovative ways to remember the towers and understand the events of 9/11 using photos, first person accounts and augmented reality.

Brian August, creator of the app 110 Stories, found the void the Twin Towers left troubling.

"I would draw pictures of the skyline and put the missing towers in," August told ABC News.

Originally inspired to create physical art installations that would place the towers in the skyline when they were viewed from a specific perspective, August, who's 50 and lives in Brooklyn, decided to create an app so that people could experience the towers from many locations. The app allows anyone within eyesight of where the towers stood to see an outline of them superimposed on the landscape and take a photo.

"The project really beautifully blends the lines between an art project and a tech project," August said. "The image of the towers that you're seeing through the app is very agnostic, it's simple looking. It's a symbol of the towers, it looks like the towers, but it's just an outline and it's kind of ghostly in the way it looks. It's beautiful."

Once users take a photo with the outline of the towers, they can add a note to it and share it through the app.

"I want people to use the app to express their feelings," August said. "Those stories get pinned to a map on the website and get maintained as a repository of our collective feelings about the stories we associate with the buildings."

Users can download 110 Stories for free and August says he views his app as a gift to people who want to remember the towers and to the generations who will never see them.

Explore 9/11 is the official app of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The app guides users on audio and photo tours of the site, offers a timeline of the event and uses GPS to display photos that were taken near where the user is standing.

"There is a real sense of intimacy and of closeness when you hear people's stories through your headphones or through your iPhone. That's something that makes it a very, very personal memorial experience," said Jake Barton, principal and founder of Local Projects, the company that designed the app. "Explore 9/11 becomes really this channel of almost direct accounts from people who saw and made history on that day. And so the phone in some ways becomes the perfect threshold for people to pass from the present moment into the past as they literally cup the phone to their ears to hear what exactly it was like to live through that day."

Barton says the app works as a living history of the World Trade Center site, constantly being updated so it not only tells the story of 9/11, but also the evolution and rebuilding of ground zero.

Local Projects also created the app Memorial Guide for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Memorial Guide, which will be released on Sunday, allows visitors to the site to learn about and see photos of the 2,983 individuals whose names are engraved around the two memorial pools. The app also enables people to search for and find specific names on the memorial as well as understand how the names are organized based on interpersonal relationships.

Both Explore 9/11 and Memorial Guide can be downloaded for free.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio