By now, on this tenth anniversary, you’ll have seen countless images of planes, towers, smoke, emergency responders, rubble—and heard audios of sirens, loudspeakers, screaming, speeches. You may have become weary and wish it would all go away, that the media would stop capitalizing on the disaster and let us heal. So I won’t post another photo of the attack.
But here is a photo that has fascinated me for nearly ten years. The photographer, Patrick Witty, simply turned around and captured the faces of dozens of people who represent every race, class and nationality.
Without evidence from the photograph itself one can deduce that something—unlike anything seen before—is in progress above the heads of the spectators. Whatever it is causes them shock, disbelief, horror, astonishment, awe, even fear—and yet they are not running from it, whatever it is. They appear not to fear for their own safety on that moment, but clearly they fear for others whom they cannot help—and they don’t understand what it will mean for the future.
This is a picture of an early response to an event. A continued response should involve prayer and work toward a healing, not a perpetuation of the cycle of terror.