Friday, May 22, 2009

The New York Daily News

A completely new resource for me is a six-year-old web effort at awarding honors for taking pictures on September 11, 2001, and its aftermath---The Best of Photojournalism 2002. The Internet Archive has never heard of these pages before, so I don't know when they went up online. Almost the whole batch is unfamiliar to me (and where they are familiar, they are all part of the same entry,) which leads me to think they are of recent public vintage.

If there is one winner in the "Still Photography Entries > Attack on America Picture Story" category, it may be one of the several different entries for the New York Daily News. Since none of these eleven images are attributed to an individual photographer, they'll have to be known by their bosses. Some of them are very exciting in their dramatic power. First among them is a shot of a burn victim and I don't think I've ever seen burns displayed so vividly. However, coincidentally, in the background is an emotionally hurt victim in a magenta polo knit shirt, as well as others, who figure in some well-known images, which makes me wonder if we didn't have a purposeful corral here that meant to steer potential subjects to this spot. Where is this triage? Is it described anywhere in the written record?

Many of these people are identified in the captions. This is an essential point damning the majority of the record. If names could be gotten from some of the most grievously affected, then why not in many other cases? The desire for anonymity is the rational in my opinion.

Burn victim, Virginia DiChiara, escapes a fate nearly 700 of her colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald did not. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower as DiChiara stood in the elevator just 20 floors below the impact site. After walking down 78 flights of stairs with 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering over 30% of her body, she is tended to by paramedics shortly before the towers collapse.

A pedestrian exodus ensues as people try to flee lower Manhattan with the ash and smoke from the collapsed buildings cutting off the air.

A man walks through what resembles a nuclear winter as the collapse of the World Trade Center sends a plume of debris and smoke torpedoing through the streets, covering lower Manhattan in a blanket of smoldering ash.
Smoke billows from the upper stories of the World Trade Center after two hijacked passenger planes crash into both towers. Acrid smoke from the 110- story office buildings fill the sky with a plume that can be seen miles away. The buildings burn for about an hour before they both collapse.

A worker plunges from the North Tower of the World Trade Center after two hijacked passenger jets crash into both of the 110-story buildings.

Having escaped from the World Trade Center after the hijacked planes hit, Janet Liso, who works on the 67th floor as an investment manager for the Port Authority, is aided by a colleague who stares transfixed as the towers burn. victim survivor

Terrified workers are evacuated from the World Trade Center as debris rains down after two hijacked passenger jets crash into both of the 110-story buildings.

A woman's shoe lays partially buried in the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center. New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, initially reluctant to speculate on the death toll, assures, "it will be more than we can bear."

The Empire State Building stands alone in the distance as the wreckage of the World Trade Center smolders. The collapse of the two 110-story towers creates a pile of more than one million tons of steel and debris that destroys neighboring buildings and covers Lower Manhattan in acrid dust and debris. The fires within the rubble burn for more than 3 months.

A firefighter stands in the center of what was the West Side Highway, searching for survivors in the rubble of the destroyed World Trade Center. Nearly 3,000 people are believed to have died in the terrorist attacks.

The rescuer becomes the rescued as Police Officer James Valentin cries in pain while a civilian pours water into his eyes to remove burning soot and ash after the World Trade Center towers collapse.

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