The image from 9/11 that is forever seared in my consciousness:
Two figures are suspended in the air holding hands
The tie on one of them flips up into his face
And his arm is outstretched
As if he is trying to grab hold of the wind.
The other figure is wearing high heels
and a pencil skirt.
Her long hair defies gravity.
They are holding hands.
As they fall 106 floors
To the building’s plaza
On the ground.
Commentary on this that is worth reading:
A couple leaped from the South Tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped. So many people saw this as a scar burned onto our brains. But a man reached for a woman’s hand and she reached for his hand, and they jumped out the window holding hands. I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers, but I keep coming back to his hand in her hand, nestled in each other with such extraordinary, ordinary, naked love. It is the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and tragedy. It is what makes me believe that we are not fools to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fire, to believe that who we are persists past what we were, to believe against evil evidenced hourly that love is why we are here. – Brian Doyle.
I wrote a short story about this that I might share sometime, if I can find the courage to.