Remember the Alamo
Ultra Violet in red, white and Blue, 1968
Ultra Violet’s 9/11 Memorial, 2011
Remember Pearl Harbor
HIS generation can claim its own
Day of Infamy. It’s been seared in our collective consciousness
ever since September 11, 2001, when Islamist terrorists attacked
the World Trade Center, predominant symbol of the endurance of
American life in the 21st century.
Nina Boxer was on an express bus
that was taking her from Queens to Lower Manhattan where she
worked in IT check systems at JPMorgan Chase.
The bus moved slowly with rush hour
traffic through the darkness of the Midtown Tunnel.
As soon as it emerged into daylight on
the East Side of Manhattan, everyone gasped. They gazed at the
plume of smoke in the distance, shocked at a strange fire
spewing out of the Twin Towers.
The bus driver continued on his route
south on the FDR Drive. He stopped short of Wall Street when the
dispatcher barked urgent orders to turn around. He raced the bus
over the Williamsburg Bridge, across Brooklyn and into Queens.
Just in time. All bridges and tunnels then closed down, barring
all traffic out of the city.
That whole day we sat glued to the
television, stunned, watching with amazing incredulity along
with others around the nation, indeed around the globe, as a new
Day of Infamy played out in downtown New York. Our eyes followed
the horror of the Twin Towers descent in slow motion into the
abyss of Ground Zero.
In 1968 I photographed Ultra Violet,
the glamorous Andy Warhol superstar. She took advantage
of a gorgeous summer day to wrap her elegant bod in red, white
and blue in the virginal woods of Amagansett, in the far end of
This summer, 40 years later, I drove
out to Long Island to photograph her again. She occupied a
prominent spot at the fourth annual ArtHamptons, an
international fine art fair in Bridgehampton.
The artist in her had vowed never to
forget this Day of Infamy inflicted on the nation. Ultra Violet
was exhibiting her superb "IX XI" aluminum artwork that starkly
memorializes that horrific day. She’s represented by Kiwi Arts
Group of Miami where her splendid sculpture is on display.
In recent years as I covered the
celebrity/social world I carried a small flag in my camera bag.
Many of the personalities I photographed at charity benefits,
showbiz parties and gala events posed with pride as they held
this iconic symbol of the American way of life in the spirit of