"Revisiting Ground Zero"

By Dirck Halstead

On September 11, 2001 Aris Economopoulos was sleeping in.

A staff photographer for The Newark Star Ledger for less than a year, Aris was scheduled to start his shift at 2:30pm on the 11th. Shortly after 8am, his mother called and told him to turn on the TV. Irritated, he pushed the button on his remote to see the World Trade Center in flames. In less than 10 minutes he was out the door of his
Jersey City apartment, running toward the Hudson River ferry. As he turned a corner, he heard the roar of a plane coming in low and fast. By the time he could see Manhattan, a second jetliner had hit the World Trade Center.

The next eight hours would be an experience that would alter his life forever. He was at Ground Zero when the towers collapsed. He barely escaped with his life, and wound up groping his way through the darkness into a lobby where he took an incredible picture of survivors hugging each other. They kept saying "My God, we are alive!"

Last week, Aris went back to Ground Zero for the first time since September 11th. He had been recovering from severe cornea damage to his eyes. He walked us through his path that day, and you can watch his journey in the video clips in this section.

Later in the day, he took a CD of his photographs to the "Here is New York" exhibit in lower Manhattan, where the public can buy prints of the work so many photographers did on that dark day. To go to the Here Is New York website, click on http://www.hereisnewyork.org.

Enter Aris Economopoulos's
Photo Gallery

VIDEO: Aris returns to Ground Zero
Camera: Dirck Halstead

To watch these video clips, you will need
the Free Real Player or Quicktime Player.

Seeing the Horror, Part II
Peter Turnley | Bill Biggart | David Turnley
Chip East | Aris Economopoulos

Write a Letter to the Editor
Join our Mailing List
© The Digital Journalist