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The Anti-PC League Anti-PC League
Friday, 29 July 2005
Some Things Are Sacred
Topic: 9/11
Some things do NOT need to be changed or altered into something that they never were.

I have several posts about the WTC Memorial whatever shape it eventual comes in, it does NOT need to be a comment on ANYTHING but the Honored Dead, the Victims AND the Heros of 9/11 Whether at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Flight 93.

Some cannot accept such simplicity, they must turn everything into a Political Statement or Lesson.


They are tying to do it with the Memorial, just as they tried to do it with a spontaneous demonstration after the attack.


I am speaking of the Statue derived from the Famous Flag Raising Photo at the WTC.

You can read the story Here




I will post an edited synopsis of the key points but I encourage all to read its entirety.

Thomas E. Franklin's firefighters raising the flag photo


Franklin was traveling with James Nachtwey, a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist who told him he had just narrowly escaped death at Ground Zero.

Around 4 or 5 p.m., Franklin and Nachtwey were taking a break and drinking water and juice. A trio of firefighters caught his eye.

"I would I say was 150 yards away when I saw the firefighters raising the flag. They were standing on a structure about 20 feet above the ground. This was a long lens picture: there was about 100 yards between the foreground and background, and the long lens would capture the enormity of the rubble behind them," Franklin said.

The three firefighters, William Eisengrein, George Johnson and Daniel McWilliams, had discovered a US flag on the back of a yacht inside a boat slip at the World Financial Center. They took the banner and decided to raise it as a statement of loyalty and resilience.

Franklin recalled, "I made the picture standing underneath what may have been one of the elevated walkways, possibly the one that had connected the World Trade plaza and the World Financial Center. As soon as I shot it, I realized the similarity to the famous image of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima.





This was an important shot. It told more than just death and destruction. It said something to me about the strength of the American people and of thse firemen having to battle the unimaginable."

Two generations ago, when the US was in World War II, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped a picture of six Marines raising Old Glory on Mount Suribachi on the Pacific island in February 1945. The photo became a WWII icon and the basis for a Marine Corps memorial sculpture in Washington, D.C. The Battle of Iwo Jima also is recognized as the beginning of the end of the campaign against the Japanese in the Pacific.

The firefighters of Engine 255 and Ladder 157 of Brooklyn had been digging in the rubble and searching for survivors at WTC 7, when they were told to evacuate. The weakened structure was close to collapse.

During the evacuation, McWilliams, 35, of Long Island, saw the yacht, Star of America, owned by Shirley Dreifus of the Majestic Star company in New York. He took the flag and its pole from the stern and rolled it up so it would not touch the ground. He took it to the evacuation area. The Old Glory itself was American made, originating from Eder Flag Manufacturing of Oakcreek, Wisconsin.

McWilliams, of Ladder 157, passed a coworker, Johnson, 36, of Rockaway Beach, Queens. He slapped Johnson on the shoulder and said, "Give me a hand, will ya, George?"

Eisengrein, of Rescue 2 from Brooklyn, saw them and said, "You need a hand?" Eisengren also was a childhood friend of McWilliams on Staten Island and still resided there.

The firefighters found a flagpole within rubble about 20 feet off the ground on West Street. They used a improvised ramp to climb to the pole to raise the flag. As they performed their act, Franklin aimed his long lens in their direction.

McWilliams remembered that other fire personnel yelled, "Good job!" and "Way to go!"

"Ever pair of eyes that saw that flag got a little brighter," McWilliams said.

The three firemen decided to raise the flag on the spur of the moment. McWilliams said that "a big part of this is maintaining the unity of the whole team." The men were stressed from the WTC collapse and the lack of survivors among the debris.

"Everybody just needed a shot in the arm," McWilliams told the Associated Press.

In all, 343 firefighters died in the Trade Center disaster, along with 23 New York City and 37 Port Authority police officers and six medical rescue workers.

Franklin's photograph appeared in the 12 September 2001 Record. Reaction was swift and emotional. The flag raising firemen were hit with numerous calls from friends and family. Their first reaction -- surprise, as they didn't know Franklin took their picture.


DO you UNDERSTAND? They did not know they were being photographed, the scene was NOT posed!


One replica of the photo even generated controversy. In December 2001, the New York Fire Department unveiled a study of a memorial statue based on the picture, but with the firefighters as black, Latino and white. The three original men are all Caucasian. The sculpture was by StudioEis of Brooklyn.

"Given that those who died were of all races and all ethnicities and that the statue was to be symbolic of those sacrifices, ultimately a decision was made to honor no one in particular, but everyone who made the supreme sacrifice," said Frank Gribbon, an FDNY spokesman.

Many of the complaints about the statue came from New York firefighters themselves. They criticized their department for being politically correct and "rewriting history," as the father of fireman Thomas Casoria, a WTC victim, said.

Yes it IS true that "those who died were of all races and all ethnicities" and it would be RIGHT to include that in a memorial statue, but do NOT change what HAPPENED.


Some things are Sacred

They do not need to be altered to make a Political Point or Create a Political Lesson.

Some People can not understand this simple concept.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:36 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:16 AM CDT

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