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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.

SirBoobAlot Sun 03-Mar-13 22:57:07

Thing is, they've turned it into a beautiful memorial. Of course it will be different for everyone, especially those who have a personal connection, but if you don't, it's hard to connect the loss. They've built a museum and visitor center... Personally I think that is bad taste. But if they turn it into a tourist destination, then it will, sadly, be treated like one.

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Mar-13 22:57:29

It is a major tourist attraction though and due to that, you have to expect people to take photos. It's also been all over the world media so as much as it holds some awful and private memories for's still very much in the public eye.

The same as when you visit Auschwitz and other such tragic places.

I can see why your DH was upset, but how does he know the people in the photo didn't have close family who died there too?

Pandemoniaa Sun 03-Mar-13 22:59:07

Without knowing the groups of people, it's not entirely fair to judge.

Only I have also been one of those people taking a picture of others at Ground Zero. In my case because the 6 of us were there to remember someone very dear to us who was lost in the World Trade Center on 9/11. His parents had specifically asked that we bring pictures home too.

I'd not have dreamt of asking someone to move so we could take a group photo and I quite understand your dh being upset at this happening but sometimes you can't assume other people's motives are trivial either.

Carolra Sun 03-Mar-13 23:00:19

I was there on that day in 2001 and I find it almost impossible to visit, I've been back twice and I would not take photographs... I'd feel exactly the same about it as your DH. So no, YANBU. But it's been turned into a tourist attraction, so people treat it as such... So whilst I don't blame anyone for taking pics, I'd want no part in it.

SweetSeraphim Sun 03-Mar-13 23:00:46

Ah, but different people take different things from it, don't they? I can see why it might offend some - and I can see why others would be ok with it,

Flojobunny Sun 03-Mar-13 23:01:36

It is a tourist attraction though. It's been in the news so much. Lots of people have photos with the towers on and go back and take photos as it is now.
It is awful when you think about it being the place where so many people died but I don't think those taking photos quite view it like that.

lurkedtoolong Sun 03-Mar-13 23:01:44

I'm completely on the fence on this one. I don't think anyone is BU - other than the fact that the individuals were being unreasonable asking your husband to move. When I visited Auschwitz I personally felt that I couldn't take photographs, it just didn't feel right to me but I can't call other people who did take photos wrong. I don't know the answer, people want to take photos of a newsworthy place.

BuntyPenfold Sun 03-Mar-13 23:02:21

I think it is ok to take photos. I think asking someone to move is out of order. They should just have waited.
I was there last year and it was very busy, but people were mostly subdued.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 03-Mar-13 23:03:20

Well, presumably they weren't mooning at the memorial, so I doubt any 'disrespect' was intended. And it is possible that people take photographs of the place because either someone they knew died there, or they are taking a photo to show someone else who was bereaved in the incident (eg 'We went to ground zero to remember [person] even though you couldn't be with us yourself, Granny')
It's not unreasonable to be upset by other people's behaviour when you are thinking about someone you lost, it would be unreasonable to demand they get out of your way and prioritize you over their own needs.

PureQuintessence Sun 03-Mar-13 23:04:30

Interesting question.

Do people take photos in Auschwitz I wonder?

I think if we went there, we might take photos. If only for the kids to look at later and remind themselves that their grandma spent time there. We could use them to talk about the war, and what the human race can learn from it.

Your husband might have been reading a familiar name, the other tourist might want to photograph a familiar name.

eavesdropping Sun 03-Mar-13 23:05:06

Not unreasonable to take the photos - you don't know what connection they might have had. Unreasonable asking your DH to move however.

YABU calling it Ground Zero though - New Yorkers don't like that at all.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 03-Mar-13 23:06:10

Perhaps they have been many times before, have paid their respects, this time wanted a group photo. They may have their own private reasons for wanting a group photo.

Personally I find the whole aura of interest and moneymaking ventures concerning the sinking of the Titanic rather off putting and distasteful but we all have different pet hates.

I'm sorry your husband was upset.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:06:57

I do understand all your points.

I suppose taking just a photo of what it looks like now isn't quite as bad (in my view) - I just find it so disrespect to for a group of tourists to be happy and smiling in a photo of Ground Zero to be the backdrop.

And Pandemoniaa you are right, and I shouldn't judge everyone for it and make assumptions - that's really wrong of me.

I think it's just because I saw so many people do it, that they wouldn't all have the same poignant and moving reason that you do.

I don't think some people grasp the terrible thing that happened there and the thousands of people that died there - and realise that it's not just a tourist attraction.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 03-Mar-13 23:07:05

It wasn't Auschwitz, but I went to another concentration camp memorial with my mother about 20 years ago, and she took lots of photographs. She kept making me go and stand in front of various focal points, which I didn't much care for (hard to summon up a cheesy grin when you're standing on top of a mass grave...) But I don't think her motives were either malicious or trivial.

serin Sun 03-Mar-13 23:07:26

The taking of photos per se would not bother me for the reasons Pandemonium gives but I would be a bit hmm at groups behaving as if they were on a day out at Alton Towers.

LaceAndRoses Sun 03-Mar-13 23:07:56

YABU calling it Ground Zero though - New Yorkers don't like that at all.

Sorry if I offended you.

ithasgonetotheopera Sun 03-Mar-13 23:08:00

I think that's disrespectful. I've been to Auschwitz on a school trip and as a a group of teenagers (not exactly known for tact!) I don't think any of us took photos. Just because there's a museum there now (presumably explaining what happened that day, not full of fun and games), doesn't mean anyone should treat it like a day out to the zoo. People are obsessed with photographing everything these days, really pisses me off, whats wrong with your memory?

Morloth Sun 03-Mar-13 23:08:00

YABU, it is a major tourist attraction now.

A part of history.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 23:08:19

I think it's a bit weird. But I think taking photos of everything quite weird. I would rather just do stuff, not take a photo every five seconds.

I was out with a group a few weeks ago and they must have taken 100 photos. I dunno how they can be arsed, and I hate having a million photos of me up on FB.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 03-Mar-13 23:09:02

I wouldnt be surprised by people taking photographs but I am surprised they asked him to move to do so, it seems a bit insensitive. I would have said "no I cant I am paying my respects to my friend in front of her name"

thebody Sun 03-Mar-13 23:09:17

You have no control over this.

My dd was involved in a major incident which was broadcasted on its anniversary in feb. we had no control over the sky news pictures that again dredged up the event. It was upsetting for us and dd as we hadnt even seen those new pictures.that's life I am afraid and people don't mean to offend.

So very sorry for your friend.

EduCated Sun 03-Mar-13 23:11:33

What is it called, if its not Ground Zero? Sorry, genuine question; I've not heard it called anything else. I never knew there was any dislike of that naming.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 03-Mar-13 23:14:37

A few years ago two local children were murdered. We had literally coachloads of people divert to visit our churchyard, while there they ate fish and chips and posed with their children, in the graveyard, for photographs. It was treated like a fun family day out. Some people want photographs of things other people would never dream of taking or posing for.

bedmonster Sun 03-Mar-13 23:15:34


wanted to be by himself to find her name

Obviously devastating that his friends DW died, but she wasn't the only person to lose her life. Everyone in the world knew what happened that day. Thousands of lives have been affected due to it. People are still mourning.
Everyone there had the right to be there.

You don't have to be 'directly affected' to be able to show emotion for something, or to be curious about the area in which it happened.

Friends of mine have been to Auschwitz and taken photos. It's fascinating. It's morbid. But events of what happened there are so well known, and so recent in history that you almost have to 'see it in the flesh' to believe it.

The people in the 'group shots' possibly had a reason for being there too.

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