Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tears of a Nation

I photographed this still on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001...portraits of the nearly 3,000 souls who perished that day laying on the skirt I was wearing at work when I heard the report before 9 am from a friend/talk show host on the west coast.

Now we know there were many more victims.  Michael Tuohey was one of multitudes.  Tuohey had checked in Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari to the commuter flight from Portland, Maine to Boston.  He was so haunted by Atta's face, he continued to think he saw him at the Maine Mall or in a passing car when he took out the trash.  Post-traumatic stress disorder took over his life.  The woman who checked him in at the American Airlines counter in Boston, died of suicide.

And there are countless secondary victims from the toxicity experienced by all those who responded as part of the rescue, recovery, and clean up after the attacks.  Many have died; the incidents of cancer among those workers is staggering.

It is easier to look away and distract ourselves to numb or forget.  I, on the other hand, watch whatever I can to relive that feel the horror and pain brought on so much evil that tore so many lives apart...

I feel obligated, actually...who am I to feel numb or if it is any other day...?

I feel compelled to bring honor to the memory of what will never be again...that is, life before September 11...

And yet I cannot help but feel another loss...mourning for the unity and patriotism we had as a nation on September 12.

The life we have left is a what matters most NOW.


  1. Oh Denise,,,,,, this is a beautiful tribute,,,, I had not even thought of the people effected by the tragedy in this way,,,,thanks for bringing this to our attention. We in Canada remember with you,,,,God bless you and yours,,

  2. You tribute to that horrible day is beautiful! I so agree, life is a gift and we should do our best not to waste it.

  3. So glad I read this post. I tend to be one of those trying to forget - so much pain, sometimes I feel as though I can hardly breathe. But, of course, you are wise to remember. Thank you for sharing the stories of those impacted by this tragedy and for your poignant photographs that serve as tribute.

  4. Like you I cannot look away. Not a time to be complacent. And yes your tribute is beautiful~

  5. Thank you for your words, all that was lost that Sept day is not mentioned enough. I too mourn for the unity and patriotism our country had Sept 12 of that year. Your images illustrated your words wonderfully.

  6. Such a wonderful tribute, Denise ... one of the most poignant ones I've read. I did not know that about Michael Tuohey, or the woman in Boston. It's sickening. We cannot forget, given what is happening in the world right now ... I'm from Canada, but we feel the pain and terror deeply. Blessings to you for writing this.

  7. A beautiful, thoughtful tribute. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of 9/11 in some way.
    Thank you for this!


  8. I had missed this but am thankful I found it now. You have expressed so well a difficult time.


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