NEVER FORGET 911
By Michael Chinnici
On that morning, I clearly remember where I was and what I was doing, and not believing what had just happened. I was in my office on Lafayette Street in New York’s trendy Noho neighborhood, when the news came across the television screen on our conference room monitor. Moments before I had just exited the Astor Place subway station for a short two block walk to my office. I distinctly remember looking up at the beautiful blue sky and seeing a jetliner streaking across the sky in southward direction. I thought, what a beautiful day it is. Little did I know what was about to unfold.
At first, we thought it was a small plane accident. But when the second airplane hit the second tower, it was clear this was no accident. Watching the towers collapse from our rooftop was the most frightening thing I have ever witnessed. My employees were panicking and looking for guidance. Stay calm and strong I said. With phones and mobile communications out, transit systems shut down, we eventually abandoned the office and wished everyone a safe journey home. The aftermath and carnage that followed is often too much to comprehend. I pray we never go through anything like this again. God bless those who gave their lives, not just in Manhattan, but in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. You will never be forgotten.
ABOUT THE IMAGE
As a lifelong New Yorker, I am always looking for ways to capture to essence of my city. Capturing the twin blue beams, on 911’s actual 15 year anniversary in 2016, was something I promised myself I would accomplish. Luckily the weather cooperated with a stunning sunset that lasted long enough for the twin blue beams to emerge through the twilights darkening sky. It was surely a beautiful tribute to those who will never be forgotten.
Interestingly, I was up against all odds as we fought traffic and had difficulty finding a parking space in Brooklyn. We bolted for the location just before sunset only to find it filled with about 2000 photographers armed with tripods and ND filters. I thought, OMG, how could this be. Welcome to Manhattan! I luckily found an opening and setup. I grabbed this shot about 20 minutes later. (FujiFilm X-T2 w/14mm f/2.8 using LEE Big Stopper ND filter)
As the artist, I am conflicted when I look at this image. It may be a beautiful and highly emotional image. But the pain suffered takes away from it’s beauty. I hope it serves as a reminder of something we must NEVER FORGET. God bless America!
If you are interested in viewing more of my images, please feel free to take a peak at www.MichaelChinnici.com