9/11 Museum Director Tried to Cut Firefighter Photo: Too 'Rah-Rah American'
According to Elizabeth Greenspan, author of the up coming book Battle for Ground Zero (St. Martin’s Press), Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, thought about cutting the famed photo from Ground Zero of three firefighters raising the American flag amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center…because he thought it was too “rah-rah America.” Shulan said, “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.”
The chief curator of the museum, Jan Ramirez, eventually minimized the photograph in favor of three other camera angles of the 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… Shulan didn’t like three photographs more than he liked one, but he went along with it,” Greenspan writes.
Shulan told the New York Post, “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.”