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Firefighters should show respect at Ground Zero

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  • Firefighters should show respect at Ground Zero

    I attended a service this week in NYC with other members of my department. After the service we went to ground zero. Besides the deep sadness I felt seeing where thousands had died, I was disgusted to see brother firefighters posing for pictures in front of the debris..taking turns snapping pictures of each other.This is NOT Disney world! This is not a place to have a trophy picture of yourself taken to show you were there! This is a mass grave, a place where you should be bowing your head and praying, NOT posing for snap-shots!

  • #2
    Many Psychologists would disagree with you. What you were in fact seeing, in a strange twisted way, is coping. These men sustained a huge loss of friends, collegues and relatives, but yet, they must press on. Companies that normally lost men would recieve so much time off, just to deal with the loss, now, companies that lost 15 members, have to come back to work, and deal with it everyday. It's something hopefully, you, I and everyone else will never have to deal with again.
    Buster

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    • #3
      These were not FDNY members. These were out of town visiting Firefighters

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pvt. Stray Dog:
        I attended a service this week in NYC with other members of my department. After the service we went to ground zero. Besides the deep sadness I felt seeing where thousands had died, I was disgusted to see brother firefighters posing for pictures in front of the debris..taking turns snapping pictures of each other.This is NOT Disney world! This is not a place to have a trophy picture of yourself taken to show you were there! This is a mass grave, a place where you should be bowing your head and praying, NOT posing for snap-shots!
        I couldn't agree more. The WTC site is sacred ground paid for with some 6000 human lives including 343 of our brothers. How about some compassion, respect and dignity for them and their families?

        I was at one of the services last week myself, a very moving and dignified tribute to one of the fallen FDNY Captains.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pvt. Stray Dog:
          These were not FDNY members. These were out of town visiting Firefighters
          I'm sorry about that Pvt, I mistook that as you saw FDNY brothers, maybe joking around a little bit, I am very sorry, and now, I agree with you, they should show respect, again, my apologizes.
          Buster

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          • #6
            I couldn't imagine anyone wanting their picture taken at Omaha Beach or Khe Sahm. I hope those who had their pictures taken read your post Stray Dog. Take care!
            See you on the big one
            Billy Reiter, 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7

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            • #7
              I have mixed feelings about this. While it is disgusting to treat the place like some tourist attraction, it is also a very significant piece of out history in the USA now.

              Is it just as disrespectful to take such a pictue at the Gettysburg Battlefield? And people do visit the Normandy beaches and I have seen many group pictures. There were pictures taken at these places right after the battle with people posing while bodies were still present. Were these people being disrespectful, ot just documenting part of what they experienced?

              I am struggling with this very issue myself since I will likely be an escort for a group of college students who are working on plans to go to New York City in January to do some kind of releif work for the Red Cross for a weekend. While we realize we will not be permitted on the crime scene, there is a desire to get somewhere near it to be a witness to this part of our history. We will surely take along some cameras, but I am not sure what pictures would be appropriate.
              Richard Nester
              Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

              "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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              • #8
                I kind of agree with Metal Medic. I would want photos, I never want to forget, I know I won't forget, but I also do not want the memories to "tarnish" if you will. It is sacred ground, but maybe it's all just too new, maybe we need more time to cope with what has happend. I'm really torn on this one. If it were me I would'nt make a spectacle of myself while taking pictures, I would back off, stay in the shadows. I would definately not doing anything to upset or disgrace those who are working there and looking for their loved ones. Please if you are there be smart, maybe sneak a couple of quick photos while no one is looking, and maybe just watch and listen, and maybe even pray for awhile, I think that would be a better use of time.

                Stay safe....

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                • #9
                  The New York City Fire Department and those who lost their lives and those who saved lives deserve the utmost respect that can be shown.

                  In alignment w/ this, if I lost my life at the World Trade Center attack, or at the Pentagon attack, I would want everyone that came to see the place where I died to take a picture. I would then want them to take that picture home and show it to everyone they could. I would want everyone to see what the faceless cowards did. I would want everyone to have a reminder of what happened so that it may never be forgotten. That's what I would want.

                  Stay Safe

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                  • #10
                    The people that haven't seen or comprehended video and pictures taken 9/11 and later at Ground Zero are possibly like my Mom, she has Alzheimers. Myself, I would never take pictures of Ground Zero now. Maybe a couple years from now when there is a memorial erected there.
                    As far as posing at Normandy, specifically Omaha Beach, those who were coming in 2 to 3 days later were not in the combat that the first two waves encountered, those later arrivals were the ones having there picture taken. If my Dad was still alive, he'd tell how many pictures he took there, none. Most pictures were destroyed out of respect for family who lost sons, husbands, and fathers there.
                    My opinion is that taking any pictures there now is wrong, there are people still buried there and we should set aside our own personal reasons why and respect those who were killed and there families. just because I may have been somewhere a tragedy occurred doesn't necessitate taking pictures.
                    Prayers will beat pictures anyday!

                    [ 10-29-2001: Message edited by: Chaplain 41 ]
                    See you on the big one!<br />Billy Reiter 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7

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                    • #11
                      I can see no good reasons for taking personal photos of Ground Zero...particularly those of visitors (fire dept. or not) posing in front of the pile. I agree with pvt. stray dog...this is not Disney World.

                      There are plenty of videos and photos of this tragedy...before, during, and after the collapse. I don't think any of else will forget. Future generations will see this tragedy. There is not a need for us to pose for photographs at Ground Zero while rescue workers continue to dig for the bodies of their fellow firefighters.

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                      • #12
                        While it is disrespectful, it's also history. Think about all of the other disrespectful pictures out there -- prints of native Americans, the wars -- esp. Vietnam -- and that's just America....

                        People heal in different ways for some maybe it's through photography.
                        "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
                        -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pvt. Stray Dog:
                          I was disgusted to see brother firefighters posing for pictures in front of the debris..taking turns snapping pictures of each other.This is NOT Disney world! This is not a place to have a trophy picture of yourself taken to show you were there! This is a mass grave, a place where you should be bowing your head and praying, NOT posing for snap-shots!
                          Why not?

                          What about all the FF who "self-deployed"? What were they doing? They weren't helping. They were trying to get in on the glory. How many of these firefighters were on CNN and the networks talking about what they did. They weren't called. They just went and got in the way. There are websites of people claiming they did this and that at the WTC but they are full of crap. The media and the web have created this wanting to be there animal. No one gives any credit to the North New Jersey fire chiefs who told their men "NO!" and held their force in place as requested. Thank god that this was stopped before Philadelphia, Boston, and other cities were struck. It would have been sad if another attack occurred that afternoon and the responding companies around Philadelphia found themselves short handed because of the self-deployment.

                          This taking pictures is no different than the thousands of others who cashed in on the glory and then ran to the TV cameras.

                          Unfortunately, its life.

                          Personally, I wouldn't be "posing" for pictures, but if I was there, I would have a camera. I would record this.
                          The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

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                          • #14
                            Oh okay...I guess since disrespectful pictures have been taken in the past, we, as rescue workers, should just keep on doing it. You know, Diane...think of you and your family...maybe your children, brothers, sisters, etc... Say you were in a car wreck, a couple of your kids were dead, rescue workers were trying to extricate you and any one else still in the vehicle. I come across the scene and stick my camera in the driver's side window and start taking pictures. Inexcusable, isn't it? Why is this an exception?

                            No_name might tell you it's an exception because "this is history." I would like to know why everyone feels the need to have their own personal photo of WTC. Believe me, there is no shortage of WTC photographs, videos, audio, etc. Buy you a post card why don't you?

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                            • #15
                              Sensitive topic, but I thought my 2 cents would be interesting. Went to the WTC site weekend before last after attending a funeral. At first I was hesitant to even go there, feeling that I'd seem like a tourist. But since I did attend a funeral and help in some miniscule way (as many from all over the country & beyond have been doing by the way), I accepted the offer of our host and went in with my group. I didn't know how I'd feel because there is no precedent for this, but I did take my camera along. And yes, I did snap a few pictures. As long as it's kept to a minimum and not made into a spectacle, I don't feel I did the wrong thing. Like anything else, have some respect - don't take any disneyland-style photos where you're posing, just maybe something to help commemorate and memorialize.

                              Just my take after being there fellas.....

                              The important thing is attend funerals or help in any other way you can first......

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