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EOS

I can't bear to look at the photo you have on the link today. The "what if" is painfully obvious to anyone who lost a loved one. What if that were your father/brother/husband the camera caught falling? Please reconsider your choice.

Peg

EOS - there were many fathers, brothers, husbands, wives, children, sisters, mothers, neighbors, co-workers, friends.... all murdered, all terrified beyond imagination - and all leaving behind loved ones to suffer 'till the end of their days.

I doubt that having a photo posted on my blog is going to cause any more pain to those who lost loved ones that day than not having the photo posted. And - I personally think that we all should see exactly how demented, how evil, how catastrophic what was done that day was.

Never forget. Hope to hell that these sorts of terrible acts are diminished, as much as is humanly possible.

EOS

I couldn't DISAGREE more that "having a photo posted on my blog is going to cause any more pain to those who lost loved ones that day than not having the photo posted". While I respect and defend your right to post as you see fit, I find it distasteful.

Last Liberal Standing

If the person in midair in the photo were identifiable, I think it would be in bad taste to post the picture. I assume there has not been an identification.

What the photo makes me realize is that people like this victim were not asking for trouble of any kind, yet they had to pay a sudden, horrible price. In a matter of a few minutes, the victims went from "just another day at work" to "no more days, no more minutes, very few more seconds."

We seldom have to witness such things, but when they come to our attention we should, as you suggest, rededicate ourselves to eradicating (or at least reducing) blind hatred and man's inhumanity to man.

EOS

Maybe I'm more sensitive to this issue knowing that one of my friends died by choosing to jump. I remember the NYT front page either 09/12 or 09/13 showed a man plunging to his death. It caused quite a furor then, a similar discussion as here. This man is certainly identifiable, by his family. They just don't happen to read or know that this photo is posted today. I'd love to ask them how they feel, if this is painful for them. We can "be witness" to events in history, and we can be mindful of man's inhumanity to man, but not at the expense of this man who felt he had no other choice than to jump.

EOS

Today is the 13th and you still choose to keep this post as front page. I can't in good conscience keep visiting your blog. Sorry, but this truly offends.

Peg

I'm sorry that EOS is offended by a photograph of what was done on September 11, 2001. This is not a cartoon about a religious leader or the burning of a religious book. This is an actual photograph of what was done to many human beings on that day.

I did not take this photograph. I found it on the Internet - where one can find hundreds (thousands?) others like it.

To me, it is very curious that someone is so offended by a real and untouched photo that they can no longer read my blog. Are they as offended that people with the kind of mindset that killed the over 3,000 people that day are still plotting and planning to further torture and murder those who do not have the samen world view that they do?

How can we continue to remember what happened that day - and during the days of slavery and the Holocaust and similar beyond-imagination kinds of events, when we find the reality of those days too terrible to view?

In my opinion, only when we come to grips and view what did happen can we honestly face it.

Last Liberal Standing

In case EOS hasn't yet stopped reading this blog . . .

Do you both know the photo of the South Vietnamese police chief shooting the captured Vietcong prisoner in the head at extremely close range? I've seen it many times over the years, and my reaction is the same every time: regret that I happened to look at it yet again, disgust at the abrupt, voluntary taking of a life, and renewed clarity about the horrors of war. The victim died, in an instant, with almost no warning and while his hands were tied behind his back. I also saw, not long after the actual shooting in 1968, a tape of the incident that brought me up out of my seat and set me swearing at the awfulness I had just seen.

Despite the many differences between that scenario and the killings on 9-11, the photo of the man jumping reminds me of the Vietnam picture. Words fail me.

Peg

LLS - of course I remember that famous photo. Does anything else quite capture the brutality, randomness and violence of war?

Words cannot capture what these photos can. That is why I will not take them down.

EOS

Peg,
This is an note from a regular commenter on my old blog who kept my email address and with whom I've become friends and keep in touch daily. I have not met her face-to face and did not know her husband died on 09/11 until I was innocently telling her of your 09/11 thread that irritated the hell out of me. Fxxxxxx knew I lost one of my best friends jumping off the South Tower. I was NOT prepared for her response...that your photo is her husband. I was given permission to post her words here. I've redacted it to protect her and my identity. Personally, I'd prefer she allow me to post the name and age of her dead husband here but she felt that would be giving you credibility...and she refused.

Cxxxx,
It seems like yesterday when Hxxx and I talked about what he would wear for the meeting that day. I thought the shirt was too bright, too preppy, but his blue blazer toned down the pink. He was so excited about the prospect of a job with XXXX that we giggled with joy as he walked out the door, confident the job offer would be in hand by noon. He'd waited a long time to get this interview and felt it was the right match to his talents. Hxxx called just seconds before he jumped, caught on one of the top floors, gagging with smoke and engine fumes. We prayed together, I told him God would take care of him as he fell, we vowed eternal love, and then the lines went dead. I've seen this photo several times over the years (the curse of the internet) but I'll never understand why posters don't figure out that this is someone's son-husband-father-brother. I can't stop What If from posting the photo of Hxxx and from what I read of her blog she is proud of her entry, but tell her for me she's not made a statement other than being offensive and insensitive. The irony is how Hxxx was Mr. Conservative and would be rolling over in his grave that his last moments were being favored by so many damn liberals, with captions like "will this happen again" or "let us never forget". I guess you have to walk in my shoes to realize the pain of Hxxx's photo being out there in the internet. I don't even know who took the photo and if I did, I might ask him to require posters make a donation to the 09/11 Fireman's Fund before using it. Let's Hxxx's death do some good, not further the cause of yet another irritating liberal who thinks it's their job to educate and remind. What's done is done. Thanks for listening to me rant. And double thanks for opting out of visiting the What If blog anymore. I appreciate your loyalty.

Peg

EOS - I have been wrong so many times in my life, impossible to count. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to believe that someone could know with certainty who this person is. I feel confident that I couldn't know from the photograph who the person was - other than it was a man.

Again - unless I am misunderstanding something, I don't know why you and she would think that I am a liberal. While my social values are fairly liberal, most people, in today's parlance, would refer to me as either a conservative or a libertarian. So - that part of your "redacted" note also does not run true.

And proud? Don't understand that. I make no money from my blog. I simply post my thoughts and share them with people of both similar and dissimilar viewpoints.

I don't understand why this particular photo offends you so. The people who were lynched in my earlier 9/11 post were someone's child or spouse or sibling. The photo of those few left living in a concentration camp had families. I realize that the skeletal remains from Iraq are obviously unidentifiable - but I would think that the Russian bodies at that slaughter might be identified by some. Why it is offensive to show someone forced to choose between leaping to his death or being incinerated is rude - but not to show just slaughtered bodies is not makes no sense to me.

I'm sorry if neither you nor your friend understand why I think it's so important to show the pictures. But, I do. In turn, I surely understand that the two of you - and anyone else who thinks that my blog is offensive - is perfectly free to not look at it nor read it.

I post what I do because I believe it lessens the chance that what happened to your friend's husband will happen to the relatives of other people. I'm sorry that you disagree with me - and infinitely more sorry that she is someone to whom this happened. Yet, each of us must follow our own consciences.

Last Liberal Standing

I know I'm a third wheel in this discussion, but I actually AM a liberal, and I must say that I, like Peg, was surprised by the use of the words "proud" and "liberal," neither of which seem to apply to you, Peg, in this situation. Whether you post the photo is a question of taste, not morality, and you weren't bragging about posting it. I saw no evidence whatsoever that you were "behaving like a liberal" (whatever that means) when you posted it and kept it here even when EOS strongly objected. (The implication seems to be that liberals are immoral, heartless, hypocritical, opportunistic, and every other bad thing. That in itself is an objectionable insinuation--and it doesn't apply to you in any sense!)

I say all this at the risk of alienating EOS, who has been civil in every communication she has had with me. I'm sorry that there are hard feelings between the two of you over the posted photo issue, because I'd guess that you are both good souls and might well be ideologically close.

Peg

Tnx, LLS. Agree with all that you say about the oddity of some of the comments.

I know it is an old cliche - but for me, it is quite true: many of my closest friends are political liberals. I may think they are wrong about many issues. Still - it has no bearing on them being great people. So, you won't find me looking down my nose at people because they are liberals.

Like I said; I try to do what I think is appropriate. If I think I am wrong - then I change my beliefs and my actions. Here, however, I simply have not been convinced. Indeed, I still think that the power of pictures can alter people's perceptions for the better.

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