Sunday, September 10, 2006

Where were you on 9/11/01?

I’ve lived long enough to have a number of “Where were you when?” moments in my life. On November 22, 1963 I was sent home along with the rest of my classmates from afternoon Kindergarten, not understanding the reason why. All that weekend, the adults in my life talked in hushed tones. I remember our black-and-white TV turned on most of the time, following the events following John F. Kennedy’s assassination. No one bothered to explain to me what was going on.

On the evening of July 20, 1969 I laid on my stomach in front of our now-color TV watching grainy pictures of the first humans walking on the surface of the moon.

On January 28, 1986 I was at work at my first graphic design job when the company jokester rushed into the art studio and exclaimed that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded. Of course, no one believed him – not until he dragged out a television set and tuned it in to the news.

Five years ago today, I was managing a graphic design staff, when an employee arrived at work at 9:00 and announced that a plane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I immediately wondered how a small plane could have made such an error. It was inconceivable to me that anything larger would have done so, let alone deliberately.

News accounts throughout the day and repeated viewings of the impacts and the towers crumbling confirmed that nothing was inconceivable anymore.

The photos I’ve selected from my archive today are of two American icons, the bald eagle, photographed last weekend at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, and a sculpture of an American flag that stands on an island in the middle of the Fox River in my hometown of Elgin, Illinois. It’s my tribute to those who died that day and for those who continue the fight against terror today.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2006 James Jordan.


V. Schroeder said...

Thanks for this fitting tribute and salute to those who are protecting us.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher, and my students are currently studying symbolic language in literature. I accidently discovered your site while looking for a quote about volunteerism. I found your flag captivating. Its solidity is a very appropriate representation of the American spirit. Thank you for the contribution.