Sunny evening, 6 June 2018

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Falling Man

Watched a documentary tonight about the Falling Man, the undescribably image of one of the people who fell from the WTC in New York on 9/11. As my tribute on this blog indicates, people tried to identify the man pictured, and initially concluded it was Norberto Hernandez. This was disproved. It then turned out to be Jonathan Briley, who worked in the Windows of the World restaurant, where Norberto Hernandez was employed as a chef. But, does it really matter who was captured, falling hundreds of feet to his death?


It matters more what the image stands for. And that transcends identity, ethnicity or nationality. It surmounts the politics, security and other implications that the dreadful events of 9/11 had. It brings it back down to the individual. Like the tombs to the unknown soldier that are scattered across the world. For it is the not knowing of the identity that gives the image its power.

9/11 will be remembered through the years, its acute pain lessened as time passes. If I can, I'll continue posting Norberto Hernandez' tribute on 11 September each year. Whether under the auspices of Project 2996, or under my own steam. Norberto's memory will live on. As will the memory of the several thousand others who died that day, 8 years ago.


  1. The memory of those souls should live on and never be forgotten.

  2. you are correct in stating that it doesn't matter who, but why. why did it happen, and why have we, here in the state, as well as everywhere else, become so accustomed to being "safe" and believing we are protected. we will forever have to be looking over our backs now.

    every single person who died deserves a tribute. but the ones i want to stand up and salute are the families, friends, and loved ones who were left behind and have to live with this tragedy every single day of the remainder of their own lives.

    let us take up a stand against terrorism.....


  3. Yet another well written poignant entry. We can never forget. Any of it. Ever.

  4. Very tempting to turn one's head back to the TV screen to see the falling man. One's first impulse forces you to look away in guilt, shame, anger, fear - but damn if we don't turn back to that screen. ("What does a falling human look like, can I see his fear, his knowledge of pending death?") We're all so vulnerable, so frail, and oh so very precious.