A few weeks ago I came across a 5x7 print that I had photographed back in 1983 or 1984. I remember uploading the image to our very first AOL website 15 or so years ago and didn’t think much of it at the time. Back then we were just “self publishing” photos to the web to share with family, other photographers. While I felt it was a good image - I didn’t think it would rise so much in popularity over time.
September 11th changed all that. About a year after September 11th - I got an email slide show from a retired military officer friend of mine Terry Oneill. All of the photos in the slide show were respectful of the men and women that served our country, a tribute to honor, country and the first responders. I was so surprised to see a copy of my photo mixed in with the rest. I emailed Terry” hey - that’s my photo from years back, where did you get it?" The reply was to be expected... “Oh I don’t know, it was just fwd to me and I passed it along to my friends”. So now 10 years after September 11th - this photo is all over the web, there is even a facebook page about this photo. I’ve seen on the web, this photo used in positive tribute sites, and a few “anti military comments” also associated with this image. I have seen someone else take credit for the photo (but maybe they were just taking credit for the “respect” poster with the use of the photo). I had one webmaster ask me that how can I prove its my photo? She stated it was on her site for the past 5 years and others have come forward to claim the image, that the website she got it from gave her permission. Well, I scanned the print with out the text in the upper left corner, that seemed enough for her. Another person claims that the person in the wheelchair is their father and they are just out of frame, standing to the right of the photo. (might be, there is a shadow on the jacket - was someone else standing, I don’t remember).
Most sites I found the photo on have updated with proper credit - thank you!