The beginning of September has attached to it a recently established tradition, the anniversary of 9/11. This weekend sees the return of a film on TV that reveals a less obvious side to the trauma brought about by that event, Reign On Me, a well told story describing the feelings of man suffering from the physical loss of his family. Coincidentally, I have just watched ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’, which tells a similar story but centres on the reaction of a young boy whose father dies in one of the towers. I mention these two films as a representative part of the events perception formed over the last ten years. Other movies that perpetuate the basic memories of the globally televised broadcast, World Trade Center and Flight 93, are now shown every year as part of the anniversary programming.
In 2004 and 2006 my wife and I were lucky enough to be able to visit New York as part of 2 holidays in the USA. Both times we stayed at the Manhattan Millennium Hilton, which has rooms that overlook the Ground Zero site. The hotel’s close proximity to the fallen towers is displayed by the fact it took a year to refurbish the damage caused by the collapse. Our rooms faced the west side of Manhattan, a view dominated by the World Financial centre, Jersey City and the Hudson river; first on the 44th floor and then the 50th. The following photographs were mainly taken in 2004 when much of the above ground clearance had been done but dust was still being removed from the lower underground levels. The images, when combined with the original memories, still carry an impact even ten years after the attack.
I have made an audio visual item posted on YOUTUBE using some of these pictures coupled with the Leonard Cohen music On That Day –
Give it a listen and perhaps say what you think.
The picture below is one of my favourites from our stay.