NY Post - This iconic picture of firefighters raising the stars and stripes in the rubble of Ground Zero was nearly excluded from the 9/11 Memorial Museum — because it was “rah-rah” American, a new book says. Michael Shulan, the museum’s creative director, was among staffers who considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and “rah-rah America,” according to “Battle for Ground Zero” (St. Martin’s Press) by Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month. “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,” Shulan said. Shulan had worked on a popular post-9/11 photography exhibit called “Here is New York” in Soho when he was hired by Alice Greenwald, director of the museum, for his “unique approach.” Eventually, chief curator Jan Ramirez proposed a compromise, Greenspan writes. The Franklin shot was minimized in favor of three different photos via three different angles of the flag-raising scene. “Several images undercut the myth of ‘one iconic moment,’ Ramirez said, and suggest instead an event from multiple points of view, like the attacks more broadly,” the book says. “Shulan didn’t like three photographs more than he liked one, but he went along with it.” Shulan told The Post he didn’t know that the way Greenspan described the discussion about the photographs “is the way that I would have.” “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,” he said. The photograph wasn’t the only item officials and family members argued over. Early on, it was decided that no human remains or photos of body parts be included in the museum. Dust from the collapse of the Towers will be on display, “but only dust which has been tested and determined not to contain remains,” Greenspan writes.
Sometimes in life, people just over think shit. This is one of those times. As stupid as this idea is, I can understand where this guy is coming from a little bit. “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.” I can get down with this statement. One of my biggest pet peeves is fake ass, over the top, in your face patriotism. Kinda negates the whole idea when its not genuine and its done on purpose to garner attention. And I appreciate the fact that this dude took the 9/11 exhibit so seriously he wanted to make sure it really reflected what happened in that event.
But when it comes to this picture, he just over-thought the whole thing. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t sum up the way we reacted as New Yorkers, as Americans, and just as people, to that whole tragedy. First responders on the scene, in the rubble, doing anything they could to help and inspire a nation. That image provided a lot of hope at a time when people thought all was lost. No brainer to include that picture. It should be the focal point if you ask me. Its the lasting image how we responded to the whole tragedy.