Photographers remember 9/11 at Jersey college
|EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHERS REMEMBER 9/11
By John Keyser
Tuesday, Sept 20, 2006-Five years after September 11, 2001, Gary Gellman and Veronica Yankowski did not forget the events that made the day so heartbreaking. Gellman and Yankowski are photographers who immortalized the towers in pictures. They put their work on display at the Brookdale campus in Freehold for students to view. On September 11, 2006, they gave students the opportunity to ask questions about the photos.
Gellman’s pictures show the towers as they were, standing upright and tall in America’s most popular and diverse city. One can see that New York City does not look the same without its two symbols of trade and economic freedom. Also among Gellman’s 9/11 photographs are several pictures of his clients that passed away in the 9/11 attacks. The attacks had a personal effect on Gellman, but also gave him reason to think about the vulnerability of his country.
"The towers were great buildings that showed the strength of America and New York. The loss of those buildings leaves America unclothed. Once rebuilt we will show our power loud and clear. Several of my clients died in those buildings and I am fortunate to have high-quality images of them for future generations." Gellman said via email.
Yankowski, whose portfolio includes a photojournalistic piece about an amputated wrestler, felt that the tragedy brought Americans together in a way they had never been before.
“We all banned together, wore patriotic clothing, hung flags on our cars...it didn't matter if we were Democrat or Republican....what happened? We have become complacent, maybe because it's too painful to remember and dwell on, but think of all of the families touched by that event who live and breathe the pain every day of their lives?” Yankowski, whose photographs of 9/11 depict the aftermath on the day of the attacks, said via email.
Yankowski’s photos, in contrast to Gellman’s, depict the harsh reality of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Her pictures include the rubble left standing and firefighters surveying the damage.
“When I look at the photographs now, 5 years later, I can still remember what I was thinking when I took every photo. I know what I felt. I can still feel it raw, just like it was yesterday.” said Yankowski via email. “Being a mother now I am saddened by the state of the world that she has to grow up in. I hope for all of our sakes that it gets better and peace prevails.....I don't mean to sound corny, it's just that I would hate to see my daughter grow up in a hateful, vengeful world where different is ridiculed and tolerance is a long way off.”
Gellman is the founder of Gellman Images and was recently showcased in NJBiz Magazines’s 40 Under 40 business achiever’s class. Yankowski is a photojournalist who has received in upwards of 20 awards from such organizations as the New Jersey Press Association and Suburban Newspapers of America.
Their 9/11 works are on display at the Brookdale College Freehold Campus from Sept 6-30 and admission is free.