Anniversaries, funerals, and memorial services have always given me mixed feelings. I completely understand the need for a nation to gather on a historic day to reflect on lives cut short by hate, but on the purely personal level, memorializing is not something I relish.
It has something to do with asking to feel the turmoil, pain and anxiety again. Reflecting on days of great tragedy become days of great tragedy again, something that makes me want to run and hide on an emotional level. But I have done so all week, reading many reflections, viewing many photos and listening to many recollections on NPR.
It’s necessary to feel the pain again, to feel the anger again, I just don’t like it. A part of me feels like we’re letting the terrorists invade our psyche again. It’s the same feeling that many athletes and boxers understand: Never show the opponent that you are hurt. Don’t let them see your pain. Make them think everything is okay.
I’ll be glad when we can put the anniversary behind us and go back to “normal” lives. Of course, in hindsight, that’s what we tried to do as a nation 10 years ago.
Rather good timing for this refresher from the ACLU. Many of my students at Cal State University, Northridge and UCLA ask questions about where they can legally take photographs. My standard response is that if you are photographing from a public location and shooting images easily seen from such a location, then you’re good.
One result of 9/11 being explored by media during the week long lead-up to the 10 year anniversary is the added security in our society. Few will argue that added security is a good thing, but photographers and law enforcement have had many run ins over the decade since the terrorist attacks that clearly show a pattern of increasing harassment of photographers working within their constitutional right (you know, the 1st Amendment and all).
Give this link a look over. It’s a worthy refresher on the right to photograph in public: http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers
When you’re done with that, give NPR a listen as they have a frightening report about surveillance in the Mall of America that illustrates a drastic change in surveillance of Americans following 9/11. http://n.pr/plxOzO
No doubt that this is a week of remembrances. Time and again in life we encounter markers that are placed in time that function as transitions. “Before the earthquake,” or “after Katrina” or, in this case, “after 9/11.” Sadly, most of us knew almost immediately that 9/11 would serve as a marker on the scale of Pearl Harbor, D-Day and Hiroshima.
Remembering and respecting solemn dates is woven into society’s fabric. It’s also good for teaching others, healing our souls and reminding ourselves of a terrible loss. With that in mind, and as you encounter various 9/11 remembrances, take a moment to stop by Aurora Photos for short blogs by photographers and editors who recall their feelings and actions on that day in history.
Aurora News Blog can be found here