Now is the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today we are remembering 9-11 jumpers and the videos and photos that haunt us still. Keep reading below and you can watch the video and see some pictures.
About a week after the world changed on 9-11-2001, a woman in my office was carrying on about how the media was subjecting us to grotesque images on television and should stop it. She told everyone she had written a letter to the editor about it and was incensed at the reply she had gotten from the editor. He/she apparently had replied to her letter with the notion that it was horrific and that the media had a responsibility to report it.
Her sensibilities were offended. She said the sight of people jumping from windows of skyscrapers was something that no one should have to watch. She said the buildings burning and people dying was too awful. Even children might view it, she said. Why are they showing the airplanes crashing into the buildings? Why do they have to show all those people looking for their loved ones? She found it all very upsetting and had trouble sleeping at night. She had taken to renting comedies to watch so she wouldn’t have to watch the events unfold on television. She continued her letter writing campaign for a while. I don’t remember when she stopped it or if she stopped it.
At some point, I said to her that the newspaper and television didn’t do this horrible thing. They are just reporting it. This was done to us by enemies of our country. I said something to the effect that we need to see and understand what was done to us so that we can respond to the attack. We need to grieve as a nation. We need to wrap our minds around it and let it sink in. We were all in shock.
She just quit talking about it when I was around. I heard that she continued her indignation around everyone else for quite a while. I just was glad I didn’t have to listen to her anymore.
Unfortunately, as time went by, the images did start to be censored, especially the ones of people jumping from the buildings. I guess it just upset people to see that. To me though, it seemed like these people were being erased. What they endured and the choices they faced that day were being watered down and made more palatable to the rest of the population. Their sacrifice was no longer something anyone wanted to look at. Its just too ugly to contemplate.
Looking at those images makes it hard to go on with our lives as though nothing at all has happened.
I think we need to look. We need to remember. We need grieve for those who died. We need to honor those who heroically tried to save others. I think the pictures remind us of what happened and the madmen who are still determined to kill us in any way they can. They don’t care who they kill as long as they are American or Israeli. Man, woman or child.
Al-Qaeda is putting out videos in remembrance and celebration of their great victory over us that day. We should remember that too.
Do the photos and videos offend you? Do you want to look away in horror? Do you want to pretend they don’t exist? Do they make you sad? Angry? Repulsed? Should we forget or retaliate? Have we yet to get our pound of flesh? Should there be a retribution? Has there been? Is that their one attack that won’t ever happen again if we are just nice enough to them? Or will they continue their mission to destroy us? Are they now just working on getting to us through the back-door rather than frontal attacks?
Have we already forgotten what we said we’d never forget?
I couldn’t look away then. I won’t look away now.
A video remembering 9-11 jumpers is available to watch below. The second video is of a man attempting to climb down the face of the World Trade Center. There are also more photos of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks below.