Once again and with his kind permission, I’m posting one of Craig Pindell’s Never Forget series of photographs and his words in remembrance of the attack on New York’s World Trade Center on September 11th 2001.
If you are reading this at 08:46 EST on September 11th 2019, Craig will have just captured the latest image in his series.
About the project, from the man himself:
Like almost everyone I know, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that airplanes had crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and in the field in Pennsylvania. I also can remember the sick feeling, the anger, the astonishment, and the resolution to always remember that our country had been attacked in such a cowardly fashion.
Everywhere in the nation there were American Flags flying proudly. The entire country came together as one. We all promised we would never forget. That patriotism was the genesis for this project for myself – I would make a photograph every September 11 at 6:46 am Mountain Time – the exact time the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
Since that horrible day in 2001, memories have faded for some. There are fewer flags flying these days. Patriots are harder to find, but I have never missed my self-appointed scheduled photograph.
About the image from Craig:
As I reviewed the image that EM picked to share this year to commemorate 9/11, I reread what I had written about the image back then. I remember the day like it was just last year, even though it was 16 years ago. The early snow, the squalls quickly passing, the cold and wind. It was a glorious day! The Never Forget project was still new – this is only the second image – and all of the changes initiated by the terrorist attack were firmly in place.
It was my first attempt at including the twin forms as reminders of the Twin Towers. At this point, I still firmly believed that 9/11 would eventually become a national holiday, and I also believed that every image for this project would be created with an 8×10 camera and on film (so far, every image has been on film).
Looking back at this image also reminds me of how different the world was in 2003. The attack was fresh in everyone’s minds. Many nations came together to fight terrorism. 16 years later many countries are tearing themselves apart and turning their backs on long-time allies. As healing as the unity was in 2003, the divisions in 2019 are deeply disturbing. It is as if civilization has forgotten how to compromise. There seems to be no middle ground on any issue. People can not find respect for others.
In 2001 we as humans that all share one planet said we would not be defeated by the terrorists. In 2019, I wonder if the terrorists have decided to sit back, have a coffee, and watch the rest of us destroy each other? I wonder what happened to the hospital ships that were off the coast of Haiti just a few years ago? The poor folks in the Bahamas sure could use that help, but the ships seemed to have disappeared.
Humanity has to include empathy – where has it gone? I have been wondering if there will be truly good people who eventually stand up to the hate and division and find a way to bring everyone together – around the globe.
As I have been scouting for this year’s Never Forget photo, I wonder how many still remember that horrible day when a small group of humans decided to kill as many humans as they could, and the impact that was felt around the world. There seem to be fewer and fewer that remember this happened, and fewer still that remember the unity that encircled the globe as we healed.
Once again, thank you for allowing me to share, Craig.
Your turn: submit an article
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.