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Twelve years after the attacks of 9/11, we are remembering the catastrophe through Twitter. There is even a hashtag for people to share their memories: #wherewereyou. And if you're willing to forget all the silliness and inanity that passes for 140-character conversation, it can actually start to seem like Twitter is letting people actually be earnest and sincere.

The Washington Post actually used the same hashtag three years ago, but that seems like eons ago in Internet time. Today, it has a more organic, crowd-sourced feel. It is, of course, one of many ways people are using social media to remember the event. All these remembrance, however, suggest that the likes of Twitter and Facebook can, once in a while, transcend frivolity and do what they were meant to do — let people connect with each other.

Reuters's Jim Roberts, for example, linked to the front page of his former employer, The New York Times

Before everything changed, this was the @nytimes homepage we woke up to on morning of 9/11.

— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 11, 2013

CBS's Mark Knoller was in Florida, where George W. Bush was famously reading The Pet Goat to little children:

Others were having coffee on what had been a beautiful Tuesday morning:

Meanwhile, The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta was simply a daughter looking for her father:

Gwen Ifill could not get away from the smell of smoke...

...which was visible from space:

No, #wherewereyou won't change the way people use Twitter to talk about silly things. It's just one way people are capable of using Twitter. You can get a lot of feeling into 140 characters.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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