I went to the 9/11 Memorial on Sunday. I didn’t know any of the names on the walls engraved on the stone. I felt a sort of disconnection. So I stood there respectfully with my camera in hand. It was then that I looked over at my friend. She was running her hand over every name, tracing them with her finger. It was as if she knew every person on those walls. Lost in thought she slowly walked around. I came up to her while she was in the middle of tracing a name and asked if I could photograph her. She’s kind of quirky and doesn’t really care what people think. So it didn’t surprise me when she said yes. I took a picture of just her hand. I thought it was the most powerful thing in the world. The only thing left of the tragedy that struck the United States was names. Something as simple as a name of a stranger can impact the living in an immense way if we let ourselves feel a connection. When I was done photographing her, she told me that she knew the person whose name she was tracing. I felt bad, I felt that I intruded on something private. When I told her this, she just shook her head and said thank you.   

I went to the 9/11 Memorial on Sunday. I didn’t know any of the names on the walls engraved on the stone. I felt a sort of disconnection. So I stood there respectfully with my camera in hand. It was then that I looked over at my friend. She was running her hand over every name, tracing them with her finger. It was as if she knew every person on those walls. Lost in thought she slowly walked around. I came up to her while she was in the middle of tracing a name and asked if I could photograph her. She’s kind of quirky and doesn’t really care what people think. So it didn’t surprise me when she said yes. I took a picture of just her hand. I thought it was the most powerful thing in the world. The only thing left of the tragedy that struck the United States was names. Something as simple as a name of a stranger can impact the living in an immense way if we let ourselves feel a connection. When I was done photographing her, she told me that she knew the person whose name she was tracing. I felt bad, I felt that I intruded on something private. When I told her this, she just shook her head and said thank you.   

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