9/11 Museum Nearly Cut Out ‘Rah-Rah America’ Photo


Whenever major events transpire, there are often certain iconic photographs that come to symbolize what happened.

The picture of soldiers on Iwo Jima raising the flag, a sailor kissing a woman on the street, a  Vietnamese girl fleeing the bombing of her village, a coach sweeping up a wounded gymnast in his arms — all of these encapsulate stories that stick with viewers in ways that mere words could never achieve.

So it is with Thomas Franklin’s famous image of three firefighters raising the American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center after the  9/11 attacks. That one photo sums up for many people both the devastation and the stubborn resolve we felt after the murder of thousands of our fellow human beings.

It was an image that the 9/11 Memorial nearly left out of its display because of the politically correct notions of the museum’s creative director and other staff members who thought the photo was “kitschy” and too “rah-rah America.”

“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,” said creative director Michael Shulan, according to a new book coming out by author Elizabeth Greenspan.

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