photojournal

11 September 2002
 
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.

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