Voices From Behind the Lens - Ground Zero

Dennis Clark, Freelance, NY
The experience has changed the way I will look at landscapes and human life forever. You just take things for granted and it will never be that way again.

Kevin Coughlin, Freelance, NY
Manhattan had been sealed off, all except for the Long Island Rail Road which had resumed service around 7:30pm that evening. I took the LIRR in and the E train as far south as it would go in Manhattan, which was Houston Street. From there I hoofed it for nearly five miles along South Street, through the financial district, and eventually to Ground Zero, where I arrived at 1:00 AM. Numerous police agencies and the National Guard did their best to keep the press out. I used the darkness of night to move close to the scene without being detected. My mission was to photograph the scene by first morning's light. I found a bank ATM/lobby to hide in and catch a few winks before the 4 AM guard shift changes. When I felt the coast was clear, I made a break for a payloader across from Ground Zero where I photographed the search and rescue mission. At daybreak, I moved closer, walking onto the scene where I stumbled upon several exhausted firefighters catching a few winks alongside a bombed-out bus in front of Brooks Brothers, whose windows were blown out. I made numerous images of the blast site, but this image, to me, shows this indeed was a war zone, as a result of a terroristic act of war.


Aristede Economopoulos, Star-Leger, New Jersey
I had my hands full of water in this bathroom ready to splash my face when I glanced into the mirror in front of me. What I saw shocked me. I was all grayish white from head to toe with dark circles around the eyes from my tears. My dark green shirt was just as grayish white as my hair, face, that matched the color of my whole discolored body. I had just outrun a 100 plus story building falling to pieces. While taking pictures in the lobby at 2 John St., one lady asked me why I was taking pictures. Because we have to remember this. We cannot forget," I said.

Mel Evans, Staff Photographer, The Record
It was eerie for it to be empty. I never saw it empty before. It was like a ghost town. Since Tuesday, I've done much, much better working than not. Sadness and tears are just below the surface, but don't really affect me as I work. When I'm off, it really hits. I am constantly hugging my 2-year-old daughter.

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