That singular moment impacted my life in ways I'd never realize. What if I'd checked the news? I probably wouldn't have left my room. Every morning we lived overseas, the first thing I'd do is check the news... "Just to see if America's still there," we'd say to each other. Suddenly, you never knew what morning you'd wake up and everything would change. Forever.
That night I went out with some friends (to a TGI Fridays or something) and just watched TV together. Nobody wanted to be alone. Later, I looked out at the city from my hotel, watching the Hancock & Sears Towers glittering in the distance, wondering if they would be there when I awoke.
Of course, there was no going home then. The whole country was in lock-down. I think I finally rented a car & drove home several days later, grateful to be with my family when so many others weren't.
On a desperately cold November weekend in 2002, my family visited NYC. We made the pilgrimage to Ground Zero. I grabbed a few shots of 10 House... the FDNY firehouse across the street from the Twin Towers. They lost 5 guys and a truck in the collapse. Along with their normal job, the firefighters play host to innumerable tourists, telling the story of Tuesday over and again. Here's a quote from their site:
As the towers collapsed, tons of building debris fell onto the firehouse and forced its way into it, blowing out windows and doors and causing extensive damage to the facade, interior structures, utilities, lighting and the roof. Inside the firehouse, the apparatus floor was flooded with over three feet of debris and in some areas in and around the firehouse the debris from the collapse was nearly six feet deep. The building’s ventilation system, air conditioning units and Nederman exhaust system were completely destroyed.