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Here’s an excellent documentary from 2006 on the (in)famous Richard Drew picture from that day. After the initial run the following day, the response from people around the world was so intense that the photo has never been used again. It’s worth an hour of your time:

I think the why of the disappearance of the picture is embedded in the response of the Hernandez family: Outside of a few societies, even suicide in the face of certain death is viewed as cowardice. For others, it is the ultimate sin — a rejection of the life that the person was given by God. But when faced with the choice of asphyxiation, death by immolation, or by defenestration, which do you take? Is jumping cowardice, or an intensely brave act (especially for someone like me who is acrophobic?)

Could it be the notion of futility is something so uncomfortable to Western (or at least American) eyes that the image had to be expunged in favor of themes of resilience and strength?

It was an intriguing piece that I hadn’t seen before.

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