March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day: Missed Metaphors?

I in no way mean any disrespect to fire fighters or to those “first responders” who lost their lives on 9/11. That said, it’s hard for me to gather the logic of this photo. The caption reads:

Holding flags in memory of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, members of the New York City Fire Department make their way up New York’s Fifth Avenue as they take part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 16, 2013.

If yesterday had been Memorial Day, the photo would make sense. If it was 2011 instead of 2013 … to “bend” St. Patrick’s day into a round anniversary year, that would sort of make sense. Otherwise, I’m not seeing the link between St. Patrick’s Day 2013 and a 9/11 tribute except for the fact that so many police officers and firefighters in New York, I believe, are (and, were) Irish.

Am I off base here, or might this display reflect an obsessiveness with commemoration? or, an American obsessiveness with 9/11? Considering how emphatic (and “green-free”) the demonstration is, especially the sea of American flags, what makes most sense here is how the photographer framed and exaggerated the skyscraper-like letters on the ground as that much more punctuation.

(photo: Tina Fineberg/AP)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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