Monday, September 25, 2006

How do you pose at Ground Zero?

One of the things I like doing while I'm in Manhattan is to take a trip to the Winter Garden, directly adjacent to the footprints of the World Trade Centers. It's a stark reminder to me of the evil that humanity is capable of. Often I sit on one of their benches and ponder what it takes for us to undertake a massive project such as rebuilding. Staring at them should be a moment of contemplation and an opportunity to reflect.

What I saw (for the first time visiting the site) is people taking pictures of themselves in front of the construstion site. One woman was affecting poses, one looking sad, one meditative while one of herself smiling. I found this tacky for many reasons.

A. In case you didn't realize, Ground Zero is still a site where over 3000 people lost their lives. How many people are eager to take pictures of themselves next to stranger's coffins?

B. Ground Zero is the site of a massive tragedy, not a tourist trap. It will hopefully be a tourist trap when the new building is erected, but for now please leave it alone.

C. There is no way to properly pose for the picture that's genuine. No one is happy to be there, yet blunt sadness isn't quite the right feeling either. Please don't even try because it just seems wrong.

I don't mind a picture of the actual site, but when you place yourself in it, it becomes all about you at the site. If you want a memory of the destruction for your own reflections, that's probably a better keepsake.

No comments: