Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I found it quite difficult to single out a specific video that remembers 9/11 because I was looking for something that not only showed footage of the World Trade Centers, but also on how the disaster was remembered following the aftermath of that day. Approaching this topic, viewing some of the images captured on that day felt very overpowering due to the sheer level of detail included in some of the videos. However, I felt that this one was appropriate because to me it represents a "story" so to speak, of overcoming adversity through togetherness.
To explain this, the beginning of the video starts with images of the World Trade Center intact and overlooking the New York skyline in a very indomitable way to the point where it almost feels eerie, which also establishes a form of innocence. Next we are met by pictures and footage of the buildings after they have been struck by the planes, followed by shots of people expressing their awe and terror at what has unfolded in front of them. The footage that comes afterwards adds a very sobering weight to the video as commentators report that people were "Jumping out of the World Trade Center, they don't know what to do."
The video then shows the buildings collapsing, along with images of people covered in rubble and dust, to the point where they are barely identifiable. In one image we see a man unconcious being carried to safety by ambulance and firefighting crews as well as a regular citizen helping them. I think that this is one of the images that identifies America as a selfless country where everyone pitches in to help each other, and not where the attitude is for people to only look out for themselves. Seeing businessmen in suits, as one man is shown covered in dust, triggers a reminder of just how "normal" that day was before the atrocities occurred, and how much this situation could be related to any other densely populated city in any established country should the target have been chosen elsewhere.
The hoisting of the American flag is, for me the symbol of courage and unyielding resiliance in the face of devastation, it also marks the beginning of the chapter of mourning and recovery in the next stage of the video. Pictures of relatives revealing their sorrow brings home the true cost of this attack. Photos and gravestones give faces and names to those who perished, bringing a whole new level of reality to this movie-like event.
The picture of a parent and child walking hand in hand through a field of American flags is in my opinion one of the most eeire and symbolic images shown in the video, each flag, I think, representing a casualty of 9/11. It could be said that each flag represents a double meaning that each persons soul is "free" from life, and also that they are recognised not as a number but as an individual representing their country.
One of the final images of a man sat staring into the flames of candles in a dimly lit room is hard to describe. It gives a feel of mourning and hope but also shows that despite the number of casulaties were not huge, the affects on those who have survived claim further victims in the hearts of those who survived. I think that the way this video was presented, along with the audio that accompanied it remembers 9/11 as a day that seemed to last far longer than it actually did, and in a sense is still continuing as the reprocussions are still being felt to this day. The video uses symbolic imagery that could easily be translated into any language. (i.e. you don't have to be American to understand just how terrible the disaster was.)
In this respect it remembers the day as one of great sorrow but also of courage and unity. How people's slefless actions may have contributed to save others and how America has become a stronger nation by stabding up and saying"we will overcome".