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In Memoriam

This photograph was taken and first published just a couple of weeks after 9/11.
Then, as now, it encapsulates for me the loss that we all suffered that day.
It continues to serve as my memorial to those that died and all we lost.

Just a few days after the horrors of September 11, 2001, I had to travel to Florida due to a family medical emergency. I had been devastated by the attack on the World Trade Center and had seemingly lost all interest in doing photography. But, more through force of habit than desire I brought along a camera.

On my second morning in Florida, still wresting with the daily onslaught of distressing images on CNN, I took a melancholy pre-dawn walk on the beach. As I returned to the all-but-deserted hotel where we were staying I came across this scene of empty deck chairs facing into the rising sun.

Florida Chairs — Palm Beach, September 2001

Photographed with a Leica M6 and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux lens on Fuji Reala 100

It struck me that this image encompasses the emptiness and loss that we have all suffered — and yet at the same time the hope that dawn always brings. Not to be too sentimental about it, but it stirred me to return to doing what I love and do best, photography. Life, pleasure and art must continue, though we also must not forget what was lost.

— Michael


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Concepts: September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, 2001, Image, Empire State Building, English-language films, Minoru Yamasaki, Photography

Entities: CNN, World Trade Center, Michael Reichmann, Florida

Tags: family medical emergency, melancholy pre-dawn walk, World Trade Center, deck chairs, daily onslaught, all-but-deserted hotel, image, photography, Florida, distressing, sentimental, memorial, camera, pleasure, Trade, beach