Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 was a day which drew this country together, while at the same time, it tore us apart. The shock and misery of it made a strong bond between Americans, however terrible. Americans argue, Americans shout, Americans scream, cut others off in traffic, and cheat, yet when 9/11 is brought up, all Americans feel grief together. There was and still is so much I don't know about the attacks upon this country. The discussions in class were a bit helpful, but I still want to know more.

While looking around the internet, trying to find an interesting topic that I could make a post about, I came across a photograph captioned "The Falling Man." Curious, I clicked on the link that, while answering my question, horrified me. The site talks about the hundreds of people that jumped or fell from the buildings, hoping for a helicopter rescue. Unfortunately, these rescues never came. A man named Richard Drew photographed a man falling in a series of about a dozen photographs. His motive was, "I didn't capture this person's death. I captured part of his life. This is what he decided to do, and I think I preserved that" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Man).

After trying to conceptualize how this man must have felt while he was falling, I kept reading and was even more sickened. Imagine losing somebody in these attacks, knowing they are gone forever, then being asked to try to identify that loved one. I couldn't do it without it bringing tears to my eyes. The man's identity was never officially confirmed, but it is believed to be Jonathan Briley, a worker at a restaurant in the south tower. Imagine trying to decipher if that was your brother or son or father in the air falling upside down, thousands of feet, to his death. When I think of the deaths caused by 9/11, it always seemed as if it was quick and painless...

6 comments:

Jarvis said...

Carly, i think you brought up a sensitive subject in a really gentle way. So many people suffered emotionally, and are still suffering from 9/11 today. I liked the point you made about grieving together. I think its important that we are here for each other, and too often we take that for granted. I remember thinking about what i would do if i heard that my dad, who travels to new york almost weekly, was hurt in the attacks,and there was nothing i could say. I was shocked just at the thought, and couldn't even comprehend what that would be like.

TdoubleR said...

I really like your topic you chose and i believe you totally went outside the box. I think for all of us dealing with the tragedy at the young age of 10 and 11, we all believe that 9-1-1 was quick and painless. I actually remember hearing about the scene and then also hearing that people were throwing themselves off the buildings and just moving right past that. I didnt think about it at all...I had never heard of such a thing. Now that 6 years later I actually see a picture of that irrelevant detail that i ignored years ago, I feel that pain that I should have felt.

Agretch said...

All I have to say is wow. It's really amazing that you came across this picture. This picture alone could be a topic of discussion into the human mind. I agree with you, you really can't imagine how someone must've felt after knowing they were dying,and that as far as they knew at the time, the US was under attack. You really can't put yourself into that crazy of a mindset. This just makes you realize the greater impact of 9/11 that the people in New York had to deal with that not many other people saw.

Elizabeth L said...

Carly, i think you touched upon a subject i truly dont know why we hadnt talked about in class, which is such a huge part of September 11th. This picture conveyed so much emotion and meaning-and i think you covered it very well. I agree with you in that we all get so caught up in being somewhere and getting somewhere simple actions are just so unneccesary when your life or your neighbors life could be gone in seconds like the man jumping from the building. This picture to me really expemplified how it takes such a tragedy to bring a country together. A man jumps from a building in a state of panic hoping HOPING for help but falls still living. i think we hope for a lot of things but i also believe we need to take everyday one step at a time and never take anything or one for granted. I say never leave your family in the morning going to school in a fight because who knows what will happen that day. great blog! very well written

Doc OC said...

Carly,

This is an interesting angle from which to approach 9/11. The falling man is a motif important writers (such as Don Dellilo and Claire Messud) have focused on. It'd be nice if you would think about the photographer's rationale a little further. Is he, in fact, paying tribute to this man's life? If so, what sort of tribute is it?

Last: you might be interested in the grisly law suits that followed the attacks. People who could document their suffering -- through last second phone calls, or photographs -- received much more money for the suffering they endured. The New York Times did a several part study of this fascinating and horrendous courtroom exercise.

Doc OC said...

Carly,

This is an interesting angle from which to approach 9/11. The falling man is a motif important writers (such as Don Dellilo and Claire Messud) have focused on. It'd be nice if you would think about the photographer's rationale a little further. Is he, in fact, paying tribute to this man's life? If so, what sort of tribute is it?

Last: you might be interested in the grisly law suits that followed the attacks. People who could document their suffering -- through last second phone calls, or photographs -- received much more money for the suffering they endured. The New York Times did a several part study of this fascinating and horrendous courtroom exercise.