The Falling Man – Tom Junod – 9/11 Suicide Photograph – Esquire
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 – became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen.
I’m way late too the game in posting this one but I was going through my Instapaper backlog today and came across this.
This is the most wonderfully written journalistic prose I ever remember reading. Real, tragic, heartbreaking – yet beautiful and deeply personal. What it says about us all is just as important as what it says about the people and the events at hand. That, in our efforts to “never forget”, we have chosen to only selectively remember, because the truth is just too hard to bare.
Tom Junod has set a bar here that all writers, especially those in the business of recording our history, should aspire to meet or exceed.