Utah man saves closed 9/11 museum by putting it online

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UTAH COUNTY, Utah – A Utah County man is working to preserve a 9/11 museum in New York City that just closed for good.

It does this with the help of modern technology.

“That’s what I remember seeing, it’s just smoke and fire,” Scott Howard said.

Images and sounds – tthey bring us back, they help us think.

“And they explained to me that there had been an attack in New York.”

Howard was in school in 6th grade.

“There was a much bigger world out there, and there were people who hated us enough to, you know, kill people,” he said.

So when he heard the 9/11 Tribute Museum was going away — a momento created by the families of the dead — he called them, flying out to go there the next day.

“For me, it was awful.”

He captured everything he could, like a fireman’s helmet and jacket.

“I was at a loss for words about it. You know, there was someone in there.

The twisted beam of one of the towers.

“Just unbelievable to me how violent it was.”

And the faces of those who are lost.

“Families have been torn apart for what? For nothing.”

All the while, he says, museum workers around him were taking them apart, putting them in boxes.

“It’s kind of like they’re dead again, you know?”

But not forgotten.

Howard captured tens of thousands of images, taking a virtual tour.

“It’s a real privilege.”

It can be seen on its web service, Museverse, along with a dozen other museums in four states and two countries. But this project for Howard was unique.

“I really made it personal.”

Partly because he disappeared, but also because, like many of us, he too was changed by 9/11.

“I don’t know. I lost a lot of my childhood that day,” Howard said.

Through Museverse, people can subscribe and visit museums around the world. It’s free for the museums, but they get half the money, while Howard’s company gets the other half.

Officials say many exhibits from the 9/11 Tribute Museum will eventually go on display at the New York State Museum in Albany.

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