Above, Jumpers, 9/11/01, Reuters
"The Falling Man,"
9/11/01, ap photo by Richard Drew, via Esquire
9/11 victims America wants to forget: The 200 jumpers who flung
themselves from the Twin Towers who have been 'airbrushed from history
'," UK Daily Mail, Tom Leonard
- "Almost all of them jumped alone, although eyewitnesses talked of a couple who held hands as they fell."...
9/10/11, "Children of 9/11: Life with a parent missing
," Newsday, Carol Polsky
9/9/11, "WaPo's Dionne: 'Time to Leave 9/11 Behind' as 'A Simple Day of Remembrance',
A witness saw people jump to their death from the World Trade Center: "Then the crowd let out a collective gasp,
I looked to see the first of many people falling through the sky. The television stations and the newspapers downplayed this aspect of a day
already filled with enough shock and terror, but I place great importance on it because it immediately human-ised the situation for both myself and those around me
. This wasn’t just a burning building; it was suddenly full of people, friends, and family
For me, it is the most haunting memory of the day. When I focussed
on what the crowd had noticed, I too let out a cry so involuntary
and so primeval that I barely recognised it as my own. It was not a
piece of building falling to the ground, but a man, recognisable by his flapping tie and flailing arms and legs as he fell through the ai
r. The situation was surreal
no longer; my body shook with shock, my knees buckled and a
light-headedness overwhelmed me with such severity that I thought I
was either going to throw-up or fall down.
I sat down and looked up only to see more people jumping
. I thought for a moment that they might have fallen, but there were too many people, their arms windmilling
they subconsciously tried to fight gravity and avoid the inevitable.
Haunted by these visions numerous times since the incident, I have
tormented myself by trying to
imagine the extreme conditions that those people must have faced
that they should choose certain death by leaping from the building
over clinging to any hope
of rescue. What were they thinking when they jumped; what did they think on the way down?...But my fear is that to forget is to fail the lesson and lose the opportunity
That’s why this raw wound will never completely heal and that
things can never go back to ‘normal’. Because even as a simple
bystander I have a responsibility to incite change for the rest of my
life or I watched all those people die in vain."