September 11, 2001
I was planning my next post about aperture. It’s a two part post that tells all about this important part of photography. But that will have to wait until next time. It does not seem fitting to carry on as if the world did not change on this day, the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Like all other iconic events, Pearl Harbor, the day JFK was assassinated, the moon landing –if you were alive on that day you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. The day and its events are seared into our memory.
In today’s post, there will be no photographs. I did not take any pictures on that day. The photographs of that day were captured by people who were actually there and some of those remarkable images are ingrained in our memory and have brought to life the actual events of that day.
Photography has a way of doing that. It brings to life the events that affect us. Who does not remember that image of the American flag in the rubble with the hulk of the Tower’s remains in the smoky background? The pictures of the dirty, weeping first responders? When I think of 9/11, those remarkable pictures come to mind immediately. It’s as if I were right there at their side, rather than sitting in my safe, comfortable living room glued to the television awaiting the thousands of survivors that never arrived.
Historic events, whether they are great or profoundly dark are captured in images that make us all a part of the event. Just seeing the image evokes memories and makes us feel as if we were there. It may be the raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima, the first human foot print on the surface of the moon, the body of a refugee infant on the shore –they make us a part of the event.
Though I live just about an hour and a half away, to this day I have not visited the hallowed ground of 9/11. I cannot bring myself to want to see the place it all happened. The place where the world changed forever has been seared into my brain through those remarkable photographs that made me part of that day. I do not plan to watch any of the memorial programming on television today. I find it all too much, and prefer to honor the dead in quiet memory.
To the families of the deceased and the heroic first responders of that day, my heart goes out to you all. I know life has gone on to be as normal as possible. Life will continue to go on and we will continue to make as little disruption in our daily lives as we can. We will do this to show those that perpetuated that day that the indomitable American spirit will not be dampened. We will not cower in fear.
But that does not mean we have forgotten.
We will never forget.