Days of Terror: A September 11 Photo Gallery

Seriousness set in as I considered each photograph in the Days of Terror gallery. Together, the pictures tell a story. They depict a tragedy in United States history that occurred on September 11, 2001. In chronological order, these pictures describe the events of that day and those affected by them. In a way, this photo gallery is not my favorite, but in others it struck me unlike any other gallery that I viewed. This is why I want to write about it.

Each photograph in this gallery tells a different part of the story that began on September 11, 2001. The first photograph, of a plane targeted toward the South Tower, resonates heavily with me because I know how the story is going to end. Though the quality of the photograph is not ideal, it captures a moment in history that is not easily translated into words. This photograph captures the literal and figurative darkness that hung in the sky that day, and for days to come. It captures the transition of our lives before the attack to the society we have become since.

The tenth photograph in this series is called the “Grimmest Task.” In this photograph, five rescuers work to carry a Father’s body away from the scene. Their heads are down, their strength is evident, and their focus is unbreakable. The symmetry of this photograph draws your eyes towards the rescuers rather than the Father, and the ability to be looking at a photo and not truly realize what exactly it is that you’re looking at is interesting. Also, the haze in the background leads to the pop of color from the central rescuers blue shirt and the neon strips of the fire fighters.

The twelfth photograph in this series is entitled “Trees of Leather.” This image is meaningful because it depicts the way in which members of our society came together to remember a particular moment of this event. The central focus of this picture is leather shoes left behind by people running from the towers hanging from tree branches. This picture differs from the others because of the difference between the focal point and the background. In this case, the focal point is leather shoes, which are articles of clothing often associated with white collar, big business, and hardworking people, not often associated with tragedy. The background however, is dozens of blurred rescue workers, who are there to do the opposite of what the people who owned these shoes did. These rescue workers are moving towards the towers and danger. This picture depicts a dichotomy of sorts, whether or not it was intended.

Lastly, the seventeenth picture is “Holding Out Hope.” This is a photograph of a woman with piercing green eyes holding a photograph of a friend that she is looking for. Her green eyes brightly contrast her dark hair, and the seriousness on her face mimics the serious on my own as I look at the photograph. I can see that this woman is not pleading with the camera to help her find her friend, but rather stating the facts through her stare. Her friend is missing and she wants it to be known. I can still feel her gaze even though the photograph is no longer in front of me, and that is the power of this photograph and gallery.

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