Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/04/19

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Subject: [Leica] The Wall
From: aaron.sandler at (Aaron Sandler)
Date: Mon Apr 19 13:22:43 2004
References: <> <> <> <> <>

At 03:16 PM 4/19/2004, Ted wrote:
>Aaron Sandler said:
>  > Hmmmm...I have been many times since the 1980's, although not in the past
>year or so.  As far as I can remember, there has always a pictographic "no
>photos" sign (a camera in a circle with a line through it) somewhere near
>the entrance to the walkway that leads you down along the wall.
> > Or maybe I'm imagining things.
> >
> > Either way, if there is a sign, it is frequently ignored.
> >
> > I'm going up to DC this coming weekend and will try to swing by and
> > double-check.  Perhaps I'll take a photo of the no photos sign for my
>Hi Aron,
>Better still, take a shot showing the sign and people taking pictures
>I can't imagine why anyone would want to have this magnificent memorial off
>limits for pictures. I mean this is the only memento of a lost son,
>daughter, father and or other family members that many people have.
>I'm sure the "no pictures" must be an error. But if you are there and can
>confirm the "No pictures" or not sign, it would be interesting to know. And
>an absolute shame that some lame brain bureaucrat decided so.
>Pictures do not desecrate the sanctity of the site whatsoever.

Hi Ted,

I will look for that shot.  If I recall correctly, the angles may not work, 
but hopefully I can report back next week.

I agree that photos CAN be taken without impinging on the sanctity of the 
memorial, and I'm sure that plenty of mourners would like to document their 
visit.  I'm also sure you and many others here would be able to do it in a 
way that wouldn't interfere with someone's visit to remember a loved 
one.  (I'd like to think that I COULD do it, too, but I have never felt in 
the right frame of mind when I've been there.)

However, it seems to me that a whole busload of tourists with their cameras 
popping could really interfere with the feel of the place and be very 
upsetting to someone seeing the name of their father/son/whatever being 
turned into a spectacle.  I for one wouldn't want the Wall to turn into 
just another photo-op on the list of tourist destinations.  As you know, if 
you've been there, the way the wall is sited, it almost forces you to slow 
down, take it in, and think about the enormity of the lives lost.  For me 
it does it in a way that few other memorials have done.  Too many tourists 
there running around doing nothing other than adding photos to their 
collections would screw this up, I think.  I can almost see people taking 
photos of their smiling friend standing next to the inscribed names on the 
black granite/marble(?), and it's not a pretty image.

I assume that sort of analysis was the impetus for the signs (if indeed 
there are such signs).

However, I should note that I _never_ saw it being enforced, nor did I see 
anyone standing around looking to enforce it.  I'm pretty sure that any 
working photojournalist wouldn't take too kindly to being told they 
couldn't shoot there!  More likely it's just a way for the Park Police to 
have something to point at in case someone complains about snap-happy 
visitors, or maybe it just keeps people a little more subtle in their 

Thanks for the suggestion on the shot.  I'll let you know what I see.

In reply to: Message from SonC at (Sonny Carter) ([Leica] The Wall)
Message from aaron.sandler at (Aaron Sandler) ([Leica] The Wall)
Message from aaron.sandler at (Aaron Sandler) ([Leica] The Wall)
Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] The Wall)