9/11 Tribute page archives
The following are a collection of 9/11 tribute websites created on Geocities in the 2000s. I've always found the concept to be fascinating -- often, in the old days of the web, you'd find a 9/11 tribute on nearly every webpage, presented with a kind of sincerity that feels alien now. Anime fan pages with crying eagle gifs, painstakingly-rendered pixel art dollz in red white and blue. These pages are perfect examples of the aesthetics of the early web at that time, with an overabundance of sparkly-gif backgrounds and auto-playing patriotic music. They are backed up from the Wayback Machine and presented as-is, meaning that they may contain broken images, broken links, or other non-functioning features.
It's worth remembering, i think, the way in which life in america went completely fucking insane after 9/11. Growing up in Missouri, I heard stories of people putting yellow "support our troops" ribbon magnets on their cars out of fear of having their cars keyed. In the last dying gasp of the monoculture we were all expected to Be Patriotic and Support Are Troops. "Freedom Fries" was genuinely a thing, I don't even remember why. France did something that Fox News didn't like, I guess. Artists had their careers torpedoed for pointing out the facts about the forever-war. Mosques were vandalized and burned down, muslims were harassed and killed. A dark fucking time.
I had someone, a Canadian around my age, ask me not long ago why so many Americans make 9/11 jokes. Surely it's not actually funny, they wondered, that hundreds of people were killed in a terrorist attack. Well, this is why: because 9/11 was not an event, it was the entirety of American culture for a good chunk of years (many of which were the formative years for milennials). We were kids but we weren't stupid and we grew up knowing we were being lied to -- that the terrorist attack in no way justified the "hunt for WMDs", that there wasn't any real fucking danger of someone flying a plane into our local malls like they wanted us to believe. It became so centered in our lives through repetition that it became absurd to us.
Without further blah blah, the webpages: