I expected today to be odd, but I didn't really know what to expect. The bulk
of the day went as normal, but then walking back from drinks with friends on
South U. we found a big vigil forming. I headed back to the office to grab my
camera and snag some pictures of the event.
There were less than a handful of protesters, odd for Ann Arbor. For the most part
it was a big and solemn vigil and remembrance. Aside from the shock of the first
day, I really hadn't been greatly effected by the attacks and really didn't feel
a part of the ceremony. For a while I attempted to fine a high place to photograph
the event, but I quickly realized there were no good places that wouldn't get me in
trouble, so I settled for walking around.
That night I watched a special that featured photojournalists covering the attack
on the WTC. It was amazing. It was also the first time I had seen the photographs
of people jumping from the buildings. I had heard that it had happened, but I
never heard much talk of it and certainly never saw the photos. The entire
hour of the show was amazing. It really made me want to concentrate more on
photography and photojournalism.
That night was also the first time in a long time that I had trouble getting to sleep.
The thought of being able ot decide that you are going to die--the certainty
in your mind of lack of any other option, it is merely your choice to decide the manner of
your death. Up until the moment your feet leave the building you are alive, nothing
is certain, there may still be a chance. By jumping you've eliminated nearly all chance
and have chosen to take your life. I'm not criticizing the jumpers, I have no doubt
they needed to jump and it was the right thing for them to do. I pondered
this possible condition, this state of being, and could not purge it
from the foreground of my mind.
Such certainty in life is so amazingly rare, it's sad that it came in this
form. In hindsight we see that they couldn't have possibly survived by staying.
I hope they found peace in their last act.