Remembering the Photojournalists of 9/11

The videos and imagery that emerged from the September 11th tragedy is indescribable. Without them, we would not have been able to fully comprehend the extent of the disasters that took place in New York, Virginia, and Philadelphia.

So many gave their lives that day so that others could live: Firefighters, police officers, municipal workers, and average Joes and Janes alike. What would it have been like if there were no one there to videotape or photograph the events of that day?

Not very many people know, outside of the photography industry, that Rudy Giuliani had dozens (if not hundreds) of photographers arrested and jailed for several days without cause after declaring a one-mile radius of Ground Zero a crime scene.

Scott Bourne, a world-renowned photographer and author wrote, “What Rudy Giuliani did was impose undue restriction on a free press. And the cost of that decision may never be known. What photos did we miss? What if we had missed Tom Franklin’s moving photograph of the three firemen raising an American flag over the WTC rubble? Now that was an important photograph. It was so important that it is already the basis of a US postage stamp and the memorial to the slain firefighters to be erected at the WTC. But few realize that Franklin risked arrest by making the picture. If the police had seen Franklin, he would have been arrested and the world would not have had the chance to be moved by the story his photo told.”

We owe so much to the heroes of September 11th — especially those who traded in their civilian clothes for military fatigues and went to war to fight for our freedom following the attack on our country.

We also owe a huge debt to those who brought us the images a from a day that we we’ll never forget, and will remember for generations to come.

(I encourage you to read the rest of Mr. Bourne’s article, which can be found at his website “photofocus.”)

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