to think it was disrespectful to take a photo here?

(69 Posts)
LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 22:52:10

Just had a lovely holiday in New York, went about 6 years ago so we decided to do all the tourist things again.

Statute of Liberty, Empire State etc. Common places where you'd expect to see people taking group photos.

We were lucky enough to go to Ground Zero too. My DH has a friend whos pregnant wife died on 9/11, he wanted to be there but found it hard at the same time and wanted to be by himself to find her name and pay respect to her.

I read some of the names and was finding it hard myself (even though I was never directly affected) so I wanted to have a couple of minutes silence and sat down and was just watching people.

I was amazed at the amount of group photos being taken. The type of photos that people would take and show their friends and say "and this is us at Ground Zero" like it was a major tourist attraction such as the Statue of Liberty.

My husband found me and asked could we leave because he was angry because someone had asked him to move whilst he was reading his friends name so they could take a group photo.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable ... I'm not sure.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:16:23

Just read up on it EduCated

You should just refer to it as the World Trade Center site.

Ground Zero was coined by the media and people do find it offensive.

Glad that I know this now and won't use that reference again.

eavesdropping Sun 03-Mar-13 23:17:16

EduCated - it's known as the World Trade Center Site.

Op - you didn't offend me, don't worry, I'm not a New Yorker...but I'm going there later this year and have seen time and time again on travel forums people being told not to call it Ground Zero, they find it offensive.

thebody Sun 03-Mar-13 23:18:41

Hell that's disgusting.

I found in our situation people have been lovely but because our children involved are under age they are protected by law thank goodness.

However just after the event reporters were offering cash to other kids to talk about our girls!! Nasty.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:19:10

I'm unsure why you quoted

- wanted to be by himself to find her name

What was wrong with him doing that? Me and the rest of the world understand that not just one person was affected by this senseless tragedy.

I was annoyed that someone asked him to move.

I would never do that.

If there was a particular reason I wanted a photo in the exact spot someone was standing there then I would wait for them to move.

dinnersinthedawg Sun 03-Mar-13 23:22:36

Completely agree with you OP - when DH and I visited to pay our respects a few years ago we were shocked that people were taking photos. Hugely disrespectful in my opinion.

GroupieGirl Sun 03-Mar-13 23:23:11

I visited Toul Sleng in Cambodia a few years ago, and whilst we took a few pictures, it was not necessary as the feeling of being there is not something you forget easily.

aufaniae Sun 03-Mar-13 23:23:49

Not directly relevant to the OP, but perhaps interesting.

I was in NY on September 11th. Within just a 3 days or so of the incident, products relating to it started appearing on the streets. People were selling t-shirts with pictures of the towers and slogans like "God Bless America" and "I survived the attack". Shops everywhere were selling their postcards of the towers and American flags, and people covered their cars with little flags.

It was such a different approach from what we're used to in the UK. After Diana died for example, people selling flowers to the crowds were getting abuse for profitting from the tragedy. But in NY, it wasn't seen as exploitative at all, instead it was a way of showing solidarity. They even had a name for it: "Patriotic Buying".

edam Sun 03-Mar-13 23:27:13

Asking someone to move so you can take a photo at a memorial to the dead is incredibly crass.

bedmonster Sun 03-Mar-13 23:27:37

I don't know, it just jumped out at me that he was trying to do it sort of privately. Nothing wrong with that, but it's to be expected that there will be lots of people there.
Wasn't trying to annoy, sorry. I think it depends on how he as asked too. In your first post you didn't mention their mood, but in the second you said that they were happy and grinning (I can't check back without losing my post but something along those lines). We x posted so I didn't see that second piece of info until now.
I dunno really, it's a massive deal. People will flock to it.
But I do hope your DH stuck around to find what he was looking for smile
Sorry again if I upset you.

I don't think its surprising that there are lots of people there, but group photos? Asking someone to move for a photo? That is crass and disrespectful. If I were there I would probably be quite quiet and respectful (similar behaviour to being in a church). Don't think thats unreasonable.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:36:59

Yes your comment has really upset me actually.

Some people said YABU and some YANBU. I do agree that I was being unreasonable to make assumptions and that yes unfortunately it is going to always be viewed as a tourist attraction and as such treated like one.

I can accept that.

But when you said Everyone there had the right to be there.

I never once said that anyone there didn't have the right to be there. I don't think my reason for being there was any more important than anyone elses.

All I said was that it saddened me to see people taking photos as if they were at a normal tourist attraction such as the Empire State.

Your comments have really saddened me.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:40:19

it's to be expected that there will be lots of people there.

I never said otherwise.

I do not think that 9/11 was a personal tragedy for me and my husband which you seem to be suggesting.

It doesn't matter to me who or how many people were there in the slightest.

Anyway I can't read anymore because this is greatly upsetting me. I'll come back to the thread tomorrow.

Frogman Sun 03-Mar-13 23:46:17

I would be feeling the same way as you OP. Infact when I go to places like that I get annoyed when people make noise or show any signs of disrespect. I always feel that places where something of such magnitude have happened should be places of contemplation and silence.

hoobnoob Mon 04-Mar-13 00:35:33

I understand your point OP.
it's hard to know why people would want photos but I guess you can't know people's reasons.

I visited the war memorial museum in Ho Chi Minh City last year and it has a huge (very anti American) section with massive pictures of children who had been burnt with napalm, really, really shocking stuff. This guy next to me was taking pictures of his wife/partner stood next to these pictures. I just couldn't believe it...

MorganMummy Mon 04-Mar-13 00:45:18

I was visiting the gas chambers at Auschwitz and there were people videotaping it. It seemed very wrong to me (aged 19) but now I look back I can see that there was no disrespectful intent. I still don't understand why they wanted to, though, it is a place you can't forget the feeling of once you've been there.

glastocat Mon 04-Mar-13 01:47:23

I've also been to Auschwitz and watched people posing beside the skull and cross bones signs at the electric fence. Very odd. We didn't take any photos, most people didn't.

MidniteScribbler Mon 04-Mar-13 02:19:12

I think that it's difficult because this is an event that occured in the lifetimes of the people visiting. It's not yet an event consigned to "history". We don't consider the issue as much when visiting other memorial sites as they aren't events that most of us lived through, although most tourist sites are very often a momument or memorial to some person or event in history.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Mar-13 02:32:15

I don't understand why it is ok to visit such places, but not to take a photo?

But unless it is directly personal to you, why go anyway?

Morloth Mon 04-Mar-13 02:36:07

Part of surviving as a human is not caring too much IMO.

I went to the WTC site, I was sad and then I shook it off.

It is a defense mechanism I think.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Mar-13 02:44:46

I don't think it's taking photos exactly, but taking photos of people smiling like they're at a tourist attraction. Or taking photos with people in at all.

It's a bit weird, especially when there's people in the same place who may have lost relatives/friends there and you're just a tourist. But then it is a bit odd to go to those places at all. I went to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and it affected me quite badly and I'm not sure how I feel about going to places where terrible stuff has happened as a tourist. Maybe they should just have specifically guided tours.

Tee2072 Mon 04-Mar-13 04:07:56

But they are at a tourist attraction.

Right or wrong, that's what it is.

I had no idea the term Ground Zero was incorrect. Interesting.

DeWe Mon 04-Mar-13 09:50:58

I took photos at the Battle of Britain memorial. I wasn't being disrespectful.
I was taking photos of my grandad's name for my parents for whom it would be too far to go. I did take a nice photo of my children sitting on the grass looking at the memorial too. My Grandad would have been very proud to see them gazing at his name.

freddiefrog Mon 04-Mar-13 10:19:27

A pic of the WTC site popped up on my FB feed a couple of weeks ago. It was a friend of a friend's picture and my friend had commented on it. The pic was of friend's friend, at the WTC site, with 2 of her friends, they'd got their arms round each other pulling knees bent, pouty poses.

Friend had commented something along the lines of 'glad you enjoyed NY, but this is seriously disrespectful'. Loads of other people had piled in telling friend to wind her neck in, it was a tourist site like any other

It wasn't the fact it was they'd take a pic of the WTC that upset my friend, it was the silly posing she found disrespectful, thousands of people had died there, it's not the Eiffel Tower

I went to New York in 2003. I visited the World Trade Center site whilst I was there. The pictures of the missing were still up and the ribbons were there too on chain link fences. I will never forget it. People were posing for photos and I found it so disrespectful. YANBU.

mmmuffins Mon 04-Mar-13 10:35:08

I think YABU about general photography. It is a site where something of historical importance happened, and it wont be there forever.

I do think it is a bit weird to have a group shot of you and your friends all smiling in front of ground zero though. Doesn't quite have the right sentiment.

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