No doubt there are many 9/11 posts being made today. Some will be written by people who really were part of the tragic story, while others will be by people who, in the telling, make themselves part of it. No one has the definitive word, nor should they. Everyone, if only by being human, has some connection to that awful day. In a way it was my generation's JFK assassination: we'll laugh again, but we'll never be young again.
My own involvement, if it can even be called that, was limited to observing from a safe distance. At the time I wasn't sure why I was taking the photos included here, or whether it was even in good taste to do so. Since it was clear history was happening even before we knew its full extent, I decided to take the pictures while I could and sort out the other issues later.
With my friends in other places in mind, I eventually decided to try to create a small record of the events and their aftermath that was not filtered through professional news reports, but rather that was as seen through the eyes of an average New Yorker. It is in this spirit that I offer these photos.
I had a lot more words written and then realized it would be more appropriate to let the images speak for themselves to whomever will listen, just as they first spoke to me six years ago. I have added only a few minor captions under some of the photos.
A few minutes after the south tower fell.
Mid-town Manhattan (about a mile north of the site) a couple of hours after the attacks. These streets would normally be packed with people, cars and buses.
Later that afternoon, from across the Hudson River on a train in Newark, New Jersey.
In this photo and the two below are, for me, some of the most heart-wrenching images from the weeks following the attacks: flyers posted everywhere by family members desperately holding on to a thread of hope, seeking information on the whereabouts of missing loved ones.
A couple of days after the attacks, a sign outside Madison Square Garden in mid-town Manhattan lists all events as being cancelled.
For weeks after the attacks, smoke rose from the site as the building materials and contents continued to smolder.