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Leslie King-Hammond
Prayer for the New Ancestors: Altar for the Warrior Spirits of 9/11 (detail)
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9/11 Art as a Gloss on Wittgenstein
by Arthur C. Danto

I learned two truths from the attacks of 9/11, both of which I would be glad never to have come to know. One was that everyone is capable of heroism, and, correlatively, that the moral aftereffect of tragedy is a mutual commiseration among survivors. For months after the event, there was a spontaneous bond between New Yorkers that expressed itself in a rare warmth and consideration. The other truth was that even the most ordinary people respond to tragedy with art. Among many unforgettable experiences of the early aftermath of the event was the unprompted appearance of little shrines in fronts of doors, on windowsills, and in public spaces everywhere.