Earth "We colluded in our own deception as if it were real."

Ann Taylor Fleming

Icon of 9-11-01

Ground zero photograph taken on September 11, by New York Times photographer: Tyler Hicks.

Tyler Hicks

Tyler Hicks, shown above, took the now famous image of Ground Zero, Manhattan, above.

Images of what transpired in New York on September 11, 2001.

Associated Press photographer
Richard Drew, of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center"falling man"

Falling Man

Originally appeared in the New York Times
this well-researched article about the photographer was written by Tom Junod having appeared in the September 2003 issue of Esquire magazine.

"In most American newspapers, the photograph that Richard Drew took of the Falling Man ran once and never again."

 "He [Richard Drew] inserted the disc from his digital camera into his laptop and recognized, instantly, what only his camera had seen -- something iconic in the extended annihilation of a falling man. He didn't look at any of the other pictures in the sequence; he didn't have to. "You learn in photo editing to look for the frame," he says. "You have to recognize it. That picture just jumped off the screen because of its verticality and symmetry. It just had that look."

He sent the image to the AP's server. The next morning [after 9/11/01] , it appeared on page seven of The New York Times. It appeared in hundreds of newspapers, all over the country, all over the world. The man inside the frame -- the Falling Man -- was not identified."

"They began jumping not long after the first plane hit the North Tower, not long after the fire started. They kept jumping until the tower fell. They jumped through windows already broken and then, later, through windows they broke themselves. They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when the ceilings fell and the floors collapsed; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died. They jumped continually, from all four sides of the building, and from all floors above and around the building's fatal wound. They jumped from the offices of Marsh & McLennan, the insurance company; from the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond-trading company; from Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors -- the top. For more than an hour and a half, they streamed from the building, one after another, consecutively rather than en masse, as if each individual required the sight of another individual jumping before mustering the courage to jump himself or herself. One photograph, taken at a distance, shows people jumping in perfect sequence, like parachutists, forming an arc composed of three plummeting people, evenly spaced. Indeed, there were reports that some tried parachuting, before the force generated by their fall ripped the drapes, the tablecloths, the desperately gathered fabric, from their hands. . . ."

Read more: The Falling Man - Tom Junod - 9/11 Suicide Photograph - Esquire
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The photograph, has been taken out of circulation.


A sculpture based on the experiences and responses of these people can be viewed at – Tumbling Woman, 2002; Bronze.

Tom Junod, in a series of three articles for Esquire Magazine concluded:

"We're all falling men now. Drew's photograph became a symbol both specific and universal because it dared to tell us that 9/11 was not the beginning of something but rather the end, that it didn't constitute the "victory of the American spirit," as presidents and pundits tried so hard to tell us, but rather a loss, final and decisive, with which we'd always have to reckon."

Read more: Mad Men Season 5 Poster Controversy - Falling (Mad) Man, by Tom Junod - Esquire
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Ann Taylor Fleming

"I was stunned again by the beauty of where I live--one street over from the street where I grew up with my divorced mother and sister. Oh my, how parochial that sounds. Yet here I still am, grateful and haunted too by the ghosts I see--"

Morning Thoughts, 12-29-2011


Susan Sontag's commentary on photographs.