Photo: Thomas Hoepker (click to enlarge)

The week before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, The Guardian covered a debate and discussion surrounding an odd photo taken on 9/11/2001 by Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker. The photo depicts 5 Brooklynites lounging around as the World Trade Center towers burn and smolder in the background. The photo was picked up by The New York Times’ Frank Rich and subsequently posted as a perfect example of an American moving on rather quickly from a catastrophic event.

The snapshot was exactly that — a snapshot; a moment in time captured either purposely or mistakenly and ultimately thought to be considered absolute truth. But photographer Thomas Hoepker responded to Frank Rich’s article with an article in Slate explaining the image and its road to publication and how even he doesn’t know exactly what is going on in the photo.

Then, amazingly, 2 of the subjects in the photograph wrote into Slate to tell their side of the story. The two of them aren’t happy with Frank Rich’s analyzation of the image nor photographer Thomas Hoepker’s publication and written thoughts on it. Controversial still? Definitely.