September 11, 2001 was hard day. I watched the second plane hit from a lobby in Terre Haute, Indiana with a group of mostly strangers, a few co-workers, and passers-by drawn in by the need to get to a TV Set. There were four of them in our lobby, all turned to a different channel. One stayed on CNN, another stayed on Fox News, and the other two were used to find different angles, different video feeds, until one became fixed on a Spanish station, which had better coverage than any of the American channels. It is there we saw the jumpers, people who had slipped, fell, or jumped to their death.
Now, Esquire Magazine has an article about the search for the identity of the person in one of the iconic images (to me, anyway) of that day. It is an alien concept that there would be people who wanted to ban these images.
Here is an excerpt:
In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity’s divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did — who jumped — appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else — something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears.
I have video recorded from September 11, 2001 and bring it out and watch it every once in a while to remember those who died that day. Those who died because of where they worked, what flight they were on that day, and those who sought to save others that day.
To me, it matters little whether someone chose to jump that day or fell. What matters is those who put them in that horrible place on that day.
The Radical Islamists. We need to never forget as long as there is an America with Free People. They need to be introduced to the Old Hickory of our National Consciousness.
The Andrew Jackson persona who would crawl naked through broken glass to remind these people that to kill Americans in such a manner will be answered. With or Without Government Approval.
That Day Will Come.