Esquire on Sept. 11's 'falling man'

If you can bear to contemplate one of the most painful aspects of Sept. 11 -- the 50-200 people who jumped from the World Trade Center towers -- Tom Junod has written an incredible article for the September 2003 Esquire about Richard Drew's photograph of the falling man in front of both towers.

In Junod's story, the attraction and repulsion to the photo bring into focus the massive human toll of the attacks:

Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.

Chari Daignault, the publisher of the TechFluid weblog, plays a small role in the story. Junod quotes an entry from her site addressing people who arrived from Google seeking information about people who jumped:

I'm disgusted. I tried, but can not find any reason someone would want to know something like that ... other than morbid curiosity. Anyone truly gathering statistics for something like that in an offical or educational capacity certainly wouldn't be using Google to do it.


If they survived the impact, they all thought about it.

Am I the only one noticed the curious absense of a single swan diving comedian kissing his ass good-bye, flipping off the cruel world or, god permit, a cute receptionist, her ankles locked around his waist?

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