Monday, December 29, 2008

The "Suppressed" History of Thomas Franklin's "Instant" Symbol

Fresh out of the bowels of Bergan, New Jersey. Just add boiling water

(Am I tending a bit too toward the alliterative recently?)

This newspaper article which I'd never seen before today, contains lots of interesting bits of information that I'd like to discuss you.

It appeared in the "NJ News" on Oct. 2, 2001. See the actual article here:

Although, that is what we are told, that it is a dysfunctional link. But it can be found here.

I've taken the liberty to highlight in yellow some important points.

Flag in noted photo flying on ship leading U.S. fleet
Tuesday, October 2, 2001By ELISE YOUNG
Staff Writer - N.J. NEWS

The photo -- three firefighters hoisting a flag atop the World Trade Center ruins -- became an instant symbol of America's resolve in the face of calamity.

Now that very flag is flying high above the deck of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, deployed from Norfolk, Va., as the United States readies for war.

"The flag represents the spirit and courage of all Americans," Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander of the Atlantic Fleet, said in a news release. "It has incredible meaning for all our sailors and Marines, and we're proud to fly it aboard our most powerful warships. It will serve as both a remembrance and as a motivator for our . . . naval forces."

The Theodore Roosevelt is leading all U.S. warships in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. The fleet's location has not been disclosed.

When the carrier returns, its officers will present the flag to the New York City Fire Department, Natter said.

The flag and the men who raised it were captured by Thomas E. Franklin, a photographer for The Record, hours after the Twin Towers collapsed.

Franklin was near the trade center's ruined Building Seven when he spotted Firefighters Dan McWilliams, George Johnson, and Billy Eisengrein raising the flag on a pole plucked from a yacht. The men had anchored the flagpole in rubble about 20 feet above West Street.

The photograph ran in The Record and hundreds of other newspapers and appeared on network television. It immediately drew comparisons to the photo of Marines raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.

On Sept. 23, New York Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani signed the flag on its white binding and presented it to Natter. An added inscription in part reads, "FDNY -- Division I -- World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, New York City, USA."

The carrier left U.S. waters four days before the flag was handed over. It arrived Sunday via military aircraft.

"This is a proud moment for the TR and a proud moment for all of America," said the ship's commander, Rear Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald.

The flag was presented to the ship's fire crew. It will make the rounds to fly aboard each ship in the battle group.

Capt. Rich O'Hanlan, a native New Yorker and the ship's commanding officer, said the flag "represents not only America, but also our courage and determination to overcome all challenges put before us."

He added: "This flag will truly be an inspiration to me and my crew."

On the day the photo was taken, the firefighters who raised the flag were not aware they were making history.

Interviewed later, McWilliams said he and other rescuers were frustrated after digging for six hours and finding no survivors.

"Everybody just needed a shot in the arm," he said. That was the inspiration for grabbing the flagpole.

Johnson recalled the shouts from other firefighters who were watching.

"A few guys yelled out, 'Good job!' and 'Way to go!' " Johnson said.

Staff Writer Elise Young's e-mail address is
In all cases, but here especially, the word "incredible," should be understood to mean, on both the higher soul levels as well as the baser intellectual, as "not believable."

The NJ News,, The Record, and the Bergen Record, all doubtlessly share the same corporate parentage. This would make Elise Young the privileged colleague of Thomas E. Franklin, and the increase in her credibility and access should be taken into consideration.

I give her very high marks for coming up with the term, "plucked"---a word more often used with feathers and grapes then for riparian ripoffs. McWilliams use of "grabbing" gets an honorable mention, but it lost points by not having been used in a direct quotation.

The mention of the flag's presentation to the ship's "fire crew," is a fine acknowledgment of the holistic interconnectedness of all the players.

"Franklin was near the trade center's ruined Building Seven" is just a big boo boo.

"McWilliams said he and other rescuers were frustrated after digging for six hours and finding no survivors." Hmmm. When the firefighter testimonies were published in the New York Times, it was established that nobody did any digging at all that day---at least until well after 5:30pm EDT---or perhaps twenty minutes earlier for the BBC in GMT.

"The men had anchored the flagpole in rubble about 20 feet above West Street." Well now. I'm wondering if Ms. Young has ever tried to secure a live Christmas tree vertically in a three-pronged stand of Chinese manufacture?

"On the day the photo was taken the firefighters...were not aware they were making history." But I bet the three photographers who captured the moment did. Too bad none of the three captured a single image of the south face of Building 7 in flames, or images of the conflagration in 90 West Street, the lavish and historic Cass Gilbert skyscraper, whose three-story copper Mansard roof was completely burned through that day.

More Lost Sea Scroll work to do over on 911Flogger. Have the flood gates opened or something?

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