At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame—the Falling Man.
The man’s identity was not revealed- until yesterday. A documentary in the UK is telling the story of the ‘jumpers’ of 9/11. It follows the trail of the photographer who wholesale mlb jerseys nearly lost his life shooting the image; of the citizens who decried it, arguing that it was sensational and exploitative; of the editors who published it and then reluctantly banned it; and the journalist who finally uncovered the falling man’s identity.
Alongside this is the larger story wholesale mlb jerseys of the hundreds who jumped to their deaths from the towers on that dreadful day. The Falling Man provides a new examination of the events that unfolded inside the towers after the planes hit, prompting the question implicit in the photograph:
Would you have jumped if you were in that situation?
Five years after the horror of September 9, 2001, the falling man has finally been identified as Jonathan Briley, a 43-year-old who worked in a restaurant at the top of the north tower. Over the years, his family has always assumed he perished in the building. Now, learning he cheap jerseys had jumped is almost too much to bear.
His father, Alexander, a Baptist minister, has still not come to terms with the manner of his son’s dying. “I can’t talk about it,” he says. “My life’s work is telling people that they have to go on after tragedy, but I can’t do it for myself.” Jonathan’s elder sister, Gwendolyn, says: “When I first looked at the picture… and I saw it was a man – tall, slim – I said, ‘If I didn’t know any better, that could be Jonathan’.
On the day he died, Jonathan had kissed his wife Hillary goodbye before making the 20-mile journey from his home in Mount Vernon to Manhattan where he worked in the Windows On The World restaurant as a sound engineer. At 8.45am, less than an hour after Jonathan arrived for work, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower.
The impact sliced through floors 93 to 99, killing hundreds, immediately creating a 1,000C inferno as the Determining plane’s fuel ignited. The fireball was so intense that people in the building’s lobby were burned as the flames shot down the lift shafts. But it was the 1,000 people trapped on floors 100 to 107 who were unluckiest. With the lift shafts severed and staircases blocked by rubble, fire and choking smoke, there was Thai no escape. With the air becoming unbreath-able, desperate staff and diners began smashing windows. And it was in those final moments that Jonathan, an asthmatic, must have made his dreadful decision…
Eighteen minutes after the first plane struck, the second plane hit the south tower, trapping another 600 people. Official estimates of how many people leapt from the buildings vary from 50 to 200.
The picture (shown above) was published around the world, causing widespread revulsion, as if merely looking at them was to intrude upon a moment of private agony. After September 12, the picture was rarely shown again.
It was executive chef Michael Lomonaco who finally solved the mystery who worked with Jonathan. “Jonathan fitted the body type, the skin colour, and it left the door open for a possibility that it was really Jonathan,” Lomonaco says.
Jonathan’s father is still too upset to speak about his son but his sister, Gwendolyn, is ready to talk. cheap jerseys “Jonathan was a person who just loved life and it was contagious so that when we were around him, you couldn’t Starts help smiling and laughing.” Nobody will ever know for sure if Jonathan was the Falling Man, although the evidence makes it highly likely.
In one of the pictures, his white shirt is blown away by the wind to reveal an orange T-shirt – identical to the one he wore wholesale jerseys to work.But as Gwendolyn says: “It’s not about trying to find out who he is, but what his death says to all of us.” And what it says is … never again.
Sources: UK Newspapers & TV