Whenever major events transpire, there are often certain iconic photographs that come to symbolize what happened.
The picture of soldiers on Iwo Jima raising the flag, a sailor kissing a woman on the street, a Vietnamese girl fleeing the bombing of her village, a coach sweeping up a wounded gymnast in his arms — all of these encapsulate stories that stick with viewers in ways that mere words could never achieve.
So it is with Thomas Franklin’s famous image of three firefighters raising the American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. That one photo sums up for many people both the devastation and the stubborn resolve we felt after the murder of thousands of our fellow human beings.
It was an image that the 9/11 Memorial nearly left out of its display because of the politically correct notions of the museum’s creative director and other staff members who thought the photo was “kitschy” and too “rah-rah America.”
“I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,” said creative director Michael Shulan, according to a new book coming out by author Elizabeth Greenspan.
Hmm. I’m going to take a wild guess and say “Obama voter?”
The photo did eventually make it into the exhibit over Shulan’s objections, but only after the head curator forced a compromise that made it part of a display of three smaller shots.
“My concern, as it always was, is that we not reduce (9/11) down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event,” Shulan told the New York Post.
By “too simple,” he seems to mean “suggests that America didn’t deserve to be attacked.”
There exists a breed of people like Shulan who call themselves Americans but who will take any opportunity to tear down their country, who are embarrassed by notions of American excellence or goodness. In the nearly 12 years since 9/11, those people seem to have held sway over popular culture in our country.
But many of us still love our country and all that freedom stuff, and we aren’t too pleased when people like Shulan try to tell us to tone it down.
In fact, many of use are wondering just why a down-on-America, PC bonehead like Shulan is in charge of anything, much less a museum commemorating the largest mass murder ever on U.S. soil.
The “Powers That Be” behind the museum should give serious consideration to dropping the dead weight and putting someone who appreciates his country in charge.