Iconic 9/11 Photo Too “American” for 9/11Museum

“Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.  The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”    George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept. 17, 1796

According to a new book about to come out about the restoration of the World Trade Center site, “Battle for Ground Zero,” by Elizabeth Greenspan, the iconic photo of firefighters raising the American Flag in the rubble of the World Trade Center was almost excluded from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum because it was too “rah-rah America.”

The description is attributed to museum creative director Michael Shulan, who said, “I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.”

A compromise was worked out to include Thomas Franklin’s famous photograph along with two other images showing the flag-raising from different angles.

“Several images undercut the ‘myth’ of ‘one iconic moment,’ chief curator Jan Ramirez said, and suggest instead an event from multiple points of view, like the attacks more broadly,” the book states, according to The New York Post.

Shulan, who was living in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, told the newspaper his aim was to “not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”

Only a liberal New Yorker could describe the Thomas Franklin photo as “too simple” and “too American.”  The 9/11 attacks were an attack on America.  If that’s too “American” for Shulan, that perhaps he should resign his post as the museum’s creative director (and the sooner, the better).

Many, many photos were taken that day.  Workers who’d escaped from the buildings coated in dust and ashes.  The firemen carrying the body of the dead NYC fire department chaplain (he’d been struck by a falling body).  Onlookers crying.  Evacuees crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.  The moment when the north tower fell.  The explosive fireball when the second plane plowed into the south tower.

These were all photos of the horrors of September 11, 2001, in New York City.  Certainly there were photos from the Pentagon, and a few from the field in Pennsylvania.  There was nothing to see in Shanksville because most of the plane had plowed down into an abandoned mine and the rest wound up in the woods beyond the point of impact.

Franklin’s photo best summed up the American spirit.  That no matter how horrible the attack, that (just as in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and after the attack on Fort McHenry), the flag was still there.  Americans stood together that day, agape in horror and pity for the victims and their families, but united in their dedication to freedom.

Liberals had to stand by, watching this display of nationwide patriotism in silence.  It was the wrong moment to put forth their theories that the attack was all America’s fault, that then-Pres. George W. Bush had ample warning yet allowed the attacks to happen, that it was our Middle Eastern policies that brought about the wrath of Al Qaeda.

The Liberals have thrown every obstacle in the path of the museum.  They ex-nayed the moniker of “Freedom Tower” for the largest building on the site.  They made such a stink about Pres. Bush’s role as president that they “forbade” him to attend subsequent memorial services on the 9/11 anniversary.  It was all politics.  Osama Bin Laden is dead, and to Obama’s everlasting disgrace, the Seal Team that found him and brought him to instant justice, was put on a helicopter with severe mechanical difficulties and then directed over the worst part of Afghanistan, where the Taliban were absolutely known to be operating.

Then there’s the matter of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial, which still has not taken place, ten years after his capture.  Obama and Eric Holder planned to try him in federal court in New York City.  The city, of course, objected strenuously, and now he still sits in Guantanamo Bay, probably a permanent resident of the place, where the inmates are extended every courtesy, including the right to abuse the guards.

A poem of mine was accepted into the museum’s archives.  First, it was accepted.  Then it was rejected and removed.  I then resubmitted it and it was accepted again.  There’s no such thing as “too American” or being too proud of being American.  Should we also remove the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington, along with Jefferson and Lincoln memorials (the latter of which was recently vandalized)?  The Washington Monument?  The memorial to the U.S.S. Arizona in Hawaii?  Tear down the Alamo in Texas?  These all represent either complex American heroes or events.

Any curator of the September 11th Museum and National Archives who thinks there is has no business directing that museum and they should be removed immediately.  They should also be banned from every entering those hallowed grounds.

It’s as simple as that.

Published in: on July 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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