I took this picture today at a customer’s pond. Didn’t realize the reflection at the time as I was holding the GoPro underwater with a selfie stick, and using my phone to trigger the shots. When I got back to the shop and downloaded todays photos, I quickly saw a certain uniqueness in this shot. A single fish, staring back at the camera, with its reflection perfectly framed in the surface above.
While uploading the image, I decided to give it a title. Yup, the first picture I’ve ever taken that I decided to actually title. And I think the title is fitting, given the somber feeling of the day. Reflection -9/11. It can mean so many things to so many people. To me, its a day to stop and think and be thankful for what we have, and who we hold close. So many people went to work on that fateful morning 14 years ago, doing what they do everyday. None of them thought it would be the last time they saw their loved ones. My own father was supposed to go to a meeting with the Port Authority in one of the Towers, and luckily the meeting was cancelled the day before. Several people from my town died that day, between the attacks on the Twin Towers, and the plane that the passengers brought down in Somerset, I actually knew two of them, Jeremy Glick and Father Mychal Judge.
I’ll never forget that morning. How I got the first news of the attacks. At the time I was unemployed, and after getting up a little late I walked over to my PC, and logged on to Reefcentral.com (a site where I was a moderator at the time), and the first post in the lounge was “Holy Sheeeet! A Plane Just Hit The World Trade Center”. Ignoring the users choice to circumvent the profanity filter, I ran to my TV and turned it on, looking for a news channel. Standing there in shock, watching the smoke billow from the first tower to be hit, I watched in real time as the second tower was hit.
My jaw hits the floor.. I went from shocked to totally shocked. And just stood there, feeling utterly powerless and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I was glued to the footage, watching the TV the entire day and seeing the other tragedies occur.
But I also saw something in the following days, and even weeks after the attacks. Something I haven’t seen before, and something that sadly, has diminished a bit today. There was an incredible amount of patriotism, volunteerism and people just helping people. Volunteers showed up to help look for survivors in such large amounts they had to turn people away. American Flags flew high and proud, hanging from overpasses, on the backs of trucks and on every house. We were united as a country, and for the first time in my life, I saw everybody come together regardless of race, color, religion, whatever. We were all just AMERICANS. And we had been attacked. Mayor Giuliani of NYC really stood high as a leader during the recovery and cleanup effort, and indeed during the attacks as well. Our government didn’t sit idly by and let this happen, they showed their might and eventually hunted down the man who orchestrated the attacks. But the attacks still changed us. We were vulnerable before, and that was going to change.
Today we are not the same country we once were. Distractions are everywhere, and we’re more concerned with the Hollywood gossip rather than the state of the planet. Very different state of affairs compared to what we had in 2001. Have we really become that complacent??