Most of the enduring images from 9/11 are not our own. Though living in Washington DC, I stared in vain, trying to see the Pentagon’s smoke from campus, trying to see the fighter jets I could only hear, trying to directly connect with what was happening elsewhere. It is in the photographs, witness footage and news footage that provided my strongest visual impressions. In this we have to acknowledge the photographers and journalists that risked their lives to tell the world what was happening at ground zero.
Some of our most poignant sources from 9/11 is the photographic evidence that the shiny Twin Towers in New York had been reduced to rubble. As Nachtwey describes it, 9/11 cast the city’s great skyscrapers as a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic horror scene that seemed to come out of a movie set, not the real New York.
To see sixteen of his previously unpublished pictures of 9/11, and read Nachtwey’s impressions, click on the link at the top of the page.