My 9/11/2001 in Photos

Here are some photos I took shortly after 9/11/2001. The first few are of Union Square, where people – mostly young people – were holding candlelight vigils and making art and debating – not arguing, but just talking seriously about what had happened without blame and anger. It was my favorite place to go in those days following the attacks.

The view from Hoboken, New Jersey, where I was living at the time.

You can see some of the Air Force jets that were patrolling the skies for days after.

I went back downtown about a week later to prepare myself to return to work the following week. I worked two blocks away from the World Trade Center.

This is downtown, very close to ground zero.

Buildings were covered with debris and glass from windows and doors was shattered. People were putting up little signs in the windows and writing in the dust.

In the photo above, the flag is draped over the front of the New York Stock Exchange.

The following weekend I saw a man in Central Park playing guitar and singing John Lennon songs. A group of people gathered to listen.

People were trying hard to return to normalcy, by jogging, rollerblading, just taking walks in the park. But I think we were all really shell-shocked.

A photo from 2000. My friend was visiting from Europe and we went to the top of the Empire State Building. You can see the twin towers in the distance.

A photo from 1996. My mom is up in the South Tower’s observation deck looking out at the Statue of Liberty.

I took this picture, of the North Tower, in 1997.


  1. Tonya, Thank you so much for sharing these! I think it is harder for people who live on the West Coast, and especially those who have never been to NYC, to really comprehend the shock that was 9/11. So again thanks for sharing these!

  2. Really nice pictures, Tonya. thanks for sharing them. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago. What really got me was seeing all of those missing pictures of loved ones, and thinking that they were not missing.

    • Hi Nicole – I know, I can’t believe it was 10 years ago either. I remember those pictures too. I remember one in particular of a young middle-eastern woman. Her photo was all over Hoboken. She was so young and pretty and happy in the photo and I was really struck by it. In all these years of watching the memorial service on TV I’ve never seen her photo. I’m hoping she was okay.

  3. I was in Union Square too the vigil on the first friday night with all my friends.
    Good pictures.thanks. Fatima from London.

  4. Tonya, thanks for the pictures. You know, for all the terrible tragedy on that day, I thought of something. It has been stated that approx, 40-50 thousand people worked in the two buildings daily. I think it is a tribute to the effectiveness of the emergency procedures at the time that somewhere between 37,000-47,000 people were able to get out before the end, after such short notice on such a horrible attack. I’ve heard people critical over the years about how “ineffective” they thought the nation was, but I think the opposite. Thank god for the men and women first on the scene that day. They truly made a difference, and averted an even greater tragedy.

    • So true, Jeff. No one knew what was actually happening that awful morning until after the towers fell. Management in the WTC and the firefighters on the ground all did the best they possibly could, and they did a tremendous job of preventing further tragedy.

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