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Firefighters should show respect at Ground Zero

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  • #16
    I am well aware that there are plenty of pictures and videos of the site. But if you are actually there, you want to document what YOU saw, not what some other photographer thought was improtant to take a picture of.

    Now, I didn't say I would take a picture of a body part laying in a pile if I saw one. That I would not agree with. But I do think it is not unreasonable to take with you the images that you saw when you were there. These will be the lasting memories that you will share with people who were not there, to help them understand what you experienced. It is logical to include a picture or two of yourself at the site just to add credibility to the other pictures.

    Disneyland pictures.. NO WAY. Respectful pictures with a historic prosepctive.. of course.
    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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    • #17
      Originally posted by Chaplain41:
      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!
      Only playing devels advocate here:

      But yet Antitium, Shiloh and Gettyesburg are fair game?

      People have always had a desire to connect with the events which shape their life this is no exception. I have studied Military history for along time and I have found some of the most human pictures are those made by those who actually endeavor to be present even well after the event. This is not like some Antique phony 'ol'time picture of poping our head into a cutout. Yes you can have all the AP pictures you can fine but they still lack the actual personal conenction made by being there which a personal photo has.

      As a side note recently I talked with a good friend's dad who happen to be the truck driver which brought the Firefighters statue into the city (the one originaly intended for Missouri). While there he and the statue companies president where given a tour of ground zero they made a video and took pictures and this only one week after the event. While going over this very personal material I could tell how the trip and the events hit his dad, the pictures had more meaning then any I had seen on TV or the newspapers simply because of that single reason.

      In reality the pictures have nothing to do with the dead and everything to do with the living. Through them it is possible to impart the human spirit of the event which can only be transited by the feel of human emotion which they arose. If we are only left with cold unfeeling pictures with no emotional or collective connection we are unable to see the event in human terms and it becomes as distant to us as a picture from the first World War is to us today.

      [ 10-29-2001: Message edited by: DaiMon ]

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      • #18
        I'm gonna have to agree with Metal on this one, because why would you want to show your kids/grandkids pictures of what some other photographer took while you both where there when you can take a picture with yourself in there. Not that Im saying be disrespectful and get a huge group shot. Try to be discrete about it, and try to capture the moment of what YOU experienced to remember what YOU Saw that day YOU were there.
        Andrew
        Firefighter/EMT
        New Jersey

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        • #19
          DaiMon, sorry I didn't list Civil War battle sites implied by whatever fair game meant, but I'm just expressing my personnel opinion, which by the way the right to express was guaranteed at battle gounds like Normandy. If somebody wants to take pictures while digging for victims continues, that's really not up to me to decide. If anyone has a say about it, it would be those who's family members are still entombed there.
          I agreed with Pvt. Stray Dog and that's all I have to say about this topic!
          See you on the big one
          Billy Reiter, 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7

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          • #20
            Billy - you made me think I should have added to my post above, to ask your host or at the checkpoints before taking any as well - they should know if there's any family around that could be offended by any pic taking.......

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            • #21
              I stand by my support of Pvt Stray Dog's original statement. And again, it's those Disneyland, "tourist's posing" type photos we're talking about here.

              What I hear is a lot of people trying to rationalize or justify doing whatever they want to do by making statements like:
              "Well, it's OK if there are no family members around." (How the hell are you gonna know who is who?)
              or "It's OK if you're discreet about it." (In other words just sneak a quick snapshot or two and hope nobody sees.) Those very statements say "It's not something I'm proud of doing."

              I wasn't there for the Civil War, don't know who took what photos, where or when they took them. They say time heals all wounds but this just happened, it is very much an open wound. The WTC site is a crime scene and there are bodies still in that pile of rubble you're using as a background for your snapshots!

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              • #22
                I agree with NozzleHog....Why be discreet? After all, YOU guys are doing us all a favor by having YOUR picture taken in front of the pile, so everyone can see that YOU were there...without those pics their is no human connection. Say CHEESE...

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                • #23
                  I don't feel that any firefighter outside of the FDNY should be having their pic taken anywhere near Ground HERO. As for those within FDNY..I say let them grieve in whatever manner they need to in order to get through this horrible time. We are not to judge them...we are to support them in their time of need. If you are not an FDNY member then respect this site for it is a grave of our bravest heroes...not a local tourist attraction. God Bless.
                  Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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                  • #24
                    I think 'nuff's been said, and we are all due our opinions, just one point of order: our host tropper told us WTC was released as a crime scene a few weeks ago. It surprised me, if it's true, but I heard it myself.

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                    • #25
                      I understand what you are saying completely but i must admit that when i went in New York i did take pictures. I had the same thoughts i felt wrong about taking the pictures i was thinking this is probably one of the biggest and saddest tragedys ever to strike our nation, and i was a part of that day in history by being there. To say i should show more "respect" for my fallen comrades, I don't think i was disrespecting them at all, its not like i took of to the newpapers to sell them. those pictures are for me and me only and i look at them everyday. I think my overall actions during the event speak better then one certain thing i did there. Just by driving there from western pennsylvania and dropping everything to help my fallen brothers says more then enough. Maybe i was being young and stupid by doing that. I honestly have nothing to show from my trip up there except my constant insomnia and bad memories, but maybe in 40 years ill be able to sit my grandkids down and show them the pictures so they can truly see how this tragedy affect everyone directly, but i assure you i have nothing but respect for FDNY, even before 9-11-01.

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                      • #26
                        I just ain't imagine anyone thinking it was respectful to take "I was here" pics at the WTC site.
                        Man o man- if you are in the city visiting- take those kind of pics at the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State building...but imagine how you would feel if you were a family member of any
                        of the victims and saw pics like that being taken. How freaking insensitive- to place your need for a pic to show you were there
                        over consideraton towards those who were directly affected by this tragedy. Bernadette

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                        • #27
                          Type of pictures that should not be taken:
                          Rescue workers digging, etc.
                          Anything dead
                          Anything dying
                          Photos with people giving eachother "bunny ears" etc.

                          Type of pictures that could stand to be taken:
                          Mourning Dove sitting on piece of debris
                          Wierd rock shaped kind of like a badge
                          Kitten you found wandering around that took a liking to you and is now sitting on your lap

                          Trying to be optimistic,

                          Althea
                          Althea Forhan
                          FDNY 343:"Forever your power and strength stays with me"

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                          • #28
                            aaahhhh....How cute...a kitty cat crawling through the remains of the World Trade Center. Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

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                            • #29
                              I suppose everyone can debate the morals, pros, cons, etc.. of taking pictures. It seems to me the only decision to make here is the one that respects the people hit the hardest. If anyone from the FDNY or NYPD feels that people coming in and taking photos shows a lack of respect, the LEAST that can be done is to honor their feelings and refrain. You lose the record of a few personal memories, they on the other hand have lost hundreds of brothers.

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                              • #30
                                This is a very emotional topic. And it is one that I am experiencing mixed feelings about. There are many thoughts and feelings dancing around in my head and I so wish I could organize them in a manner that would make a point...and not upset the members in the forum.
                                Here goes:
                                I have several friends in the New York area, some of which are firefighters and police officers. I have spent many nights on the phone or on the internet speaking with them about what it is that they see, feel, etc. This process is very natural to me because I am involved in the emergency services through many roles - but Critical Incident Stress Management is my main role. I have heard many things and I find myself questioning, not the nobility of the friends in here, but the accurancy of the situation. How do any of us know that the firefighters taking the picture were taken the photo out of anything but a way to remember the horror of being at Ground Zero? Has anyone considered the fact that maybe the horror is so great that taking a picture is the only way to be able to document it so that the participants remember those emotions, sounds, thoughts.... and to never forget what happened? The friends I mentioned that are New York residents have told me about some incidents involving emergency personnel and some incidents involving American civilians. Please do not give all the credit to visiting Firefighters.
                                My soul aches at the losses the Emergency Services are experiencing. I hope, with all my heart, that each of you know that the majority of those serving directly and indirectly in the recovery efforts act appropriately. And I hope that you either speak to the person that you feel is acting inappropriate because maybe they don't know....or keep in mind that possibly there is more going on then one can see and the motivation is an act done out of emotion, grief, shock...or remembrance.

                                "Shield down, stay low"

                                [ 10-31-2001: Message edited by: bubblesboyd ]
                                "Dance as though no one is watching you, Love as though you have never been hurt before, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though heaven is on earth."
                                - Unknown

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