A whimsical bit of trompe l'oeil art photography, I thought, and I positioned the pointer-arrow over the "Like" icon below the post.
Then I glanced at the quote below the photograph:
Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.
I opened the link accompanying the picture and was brought to an article published in Esquire called "The Falling Man." The article chronicled the capturing of this photograph, the shock it generated world-wide, its immediate disappearance and the efforts to learn the identity of the man falling through the air from the top of the burning North Tower, a horrifically beautiful backdrop for a man fast descending to his death.
The article covers an aspect of the death and destruction of that day that was not greatly chronicled because it was too terrible for people to absorb: that among the almost 3,000 souls who died that day, it's likely that one in six jumped to their death from one of the burning Twin Towers.
Later this morning I watched on television the memorial ceremony at the Pentagon honoring the 9/11 first-responders and mourning the lives lost in the terrorist attacks on that day. I recalled what I was doing when I head the heart-stopping news that planes had crashed into the first Tower then the second: I was finishing up my packing for a plane trip later in the day to visit my sister in San Francisco.
It's true that the years go by and the space of time threatens - for those of us who weren't there or who didn't lose one close to their heart - to dull our memory of Septemeber 11, 2001. But I believe, as I've always believed, that September 11 should be for all Americans a day, not of patriotic rally or celebration of our undeniable strength, power and military superiority on this planet, but rather a day of somber national reflection, remembrance, and of pondering of the conflict and bloodshed that followed from that day of terror and grief and continues to this day with no end in sight.
Here's the link to "The Falling Man":
Take 15 minutes to read it. And in contemplating the images, the sorrow and the never-ending questions this piece raises of a day 16 years ago that started out so normally for the world and has changed it so immeasurably since, you will have paid, as well as you can, this day and all those who lost their lives to it their due.