After the first plane crashed into the human being Trade Center, Kelly Guenther got her camera gear and also ran to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade the overlooks the new York Harbor and the skyline of lower Manhattan.

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It was on her left, flying end the Statue that Liberty and also heading ideal for Manhattan. A sense of dread washed end her.

“I knew what to be going to happen: ns was going to witness hundreds of people die,” she recalled nearly two decades later. “I mental thinking, ‘No, no, no!’ Then i took a breath and told myself, ‘Do your job.’ I put the camera to mine face, framed the skyline large in mine viewfinder, and also I waited because that the plane to come into my frame on the left.”

Her photo, viewed above, ran on the former pages that newspapers anywhere the civilization the following day. Some cropped the photograph or offered a succession of 2 or three images, mirroring the airplane exploding into the south Tower.

“But to me,” she said, “it is the full framework image that tells the story: the perfect blue sky, the classic NYC skyline and also a black plane, frozen in time, a second before the human being changed.”

These are some of the photos that have involved define that tragic work in 2001, when practically 3,000 civilization were eliminated in terrorist assaults in new York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Suzanne Plunkett/AP
world run as among the towers of the world Trade center collapses in brand-new York City. Suzanne Plunkett to be on the scene taking photos for the associated Press.

“I was only out that the subway a couple of minutes, trying to negotiate police barriers, once someone shouted ‘The towers are coming down!’ ” she recalled. “Initially i ran, but my photojournalism training kicked in and I turned approximately to capture this photo.”

“I remember feeling fully bewildered through what to be happening and also desperately trying come make sense of the so that i could continue working. … even though I remained in shock, I retained going, learning that what had actually just happened needed to it is in documented.”

Weeks after 9/11, she was sent out to Afghanistan to document what the nation was like after the loss of the Taliban.

“Those were confident days,” she said. “Girls were going to college for the first time. Women were learning to drive. I’m ruined at what has happened in Afghanistan now, and can’t aid but feel that people there have actually been exit by the US and also its allies.”

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty pictures
White home Chief of staff Andrew card whispers into the ear of us President George W. Shrub as bush was visiting an elementary institution in Sarasota, Florida, ~ above the morning of September 11.

Bush had already known about the an initial plane hitting the world Trade Center, Card wrote in 2002. In this photo, taken by Paul J. Richards, he to be learning about the second.

“I tried to be succinct in what i told him so the he understood the enormity of the problem,” card wrote. “He looked up — the was just a matter of seconds, but it seemed like minutes — and I believed that that was outstanding in his capacity not to scare either the American world that to be paying attention to the cameras or, more importantly, the students that were in the classroom.”

Richard Drew/AP
A man falls from one of the towers of the civilization Trade Center. The publishing of this photo, taken by connected Press photographer Richard Drew, was not got well by everyone.

“People have actually a reaction to this,” drew said. “A many of world say, 'Well, ns don't desire to look at that.' ”

He believes some civilization react negative “because they have the right to see themselves in that similar predicament.” It’s believed that upwards that 200 people either fell or jumped to their deaths after ~ the planes fight the towers.

We will certainly never know whether this man jumped or fell. His identity has actually never to be officially confirmed.

“I was photographing the building, and also an EMT claimed 'Oh mine gosh, look at that,' and then we began seeing civilization coming down,” he said. “And I simply instinctively started photographing them as they to be falling.”

Ángel Franco/The new York Times/Redux
ladies react together they evil the fallen of the people Trade Center’s south Tower, about a half-mile away on Canal Street.

Ángel Franco was extending a politician for The brand-new York Times when the strikes started that morning. The rushed come the scene and also parked a couple of blocks away from the site, where people were watching indigenous afar.

During his career, Franco said, he constantly looked come photograph history through the eye of people of color.

“These two ladies were frozen in time, and you might see stuff in the have fun of their glasses,” he said. After ~ the moment had passed, Franco went ago to get their names. However they were gone.

“It was all around the light the day,” the said. “There was a certain amount the warmth to the light. There to be this golden feeling. The was yes, really peaceful. And then it got shattered.”

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
People carry the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, the chaplain of the new York City Fire Department, after ~ he was fatally to win by falling debris in ~ the human being Trade Center. Judge had actually just administered last rites come a firefighter in ~ the site.

“I will never forget the surreal moment of sunlight that was making its method through every the destruction and chaos on the clear September day. The is once I witnessed the males carrying Father judge in a chair,” Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton said. “I could tell that he had been killed, however it profoundly struck me that all these males from miscellaneous agencies were doing their finest to preserve his body. I had no idea that he was.

“After making this photos, i looked under at the little display screen and knew in ~ that suggest I had actually made a photo that essential to be seen by the remainder of the world.”

After about three or four days of nonstop work, Stapleton obtained a letter from Judge’s sister and niece.

“It to be a letter thanking me for risking mine life and that through that photo the people would learn exactly how incredible a guy he was," Stapleton recalled. “That letter was something as a photojournalist the comes together a gut punch, however makes girlfriend really worth the task we do.”

The civilization Trade Center’s south Tower bursts into flames after being hit by unified Airlines trip 175.

“My staff and also I were watching in bewilderment in ~ the first tower the was engulfed in smoke,” she said. “We conjectured about the cause: little airplane? unfortunately accident? As soon as the second tower to be hit, the clarity the the situation ended up being enormously clear, and fear win in a method I will never forget.”

In the year ~ she took this photo, she received thousands that emails from world all end the world.

“These strangers said me around their very first trip to brand-new York City, or once they take it their child up come the observation deck that the twin Towers, or, v regret, how they wished they had done the while lock could,” she said. “I don’t understand why these strangers mutual their personal stories through me — a complete stranger — various other than lock felt the very human should connect and also share your story, your memories, your grief, their loss.”

Marcy boundaries stands covered in dust together she take away refuge in a brand-new York City office building after among the towers collapsed.

“I had been in Lower Manhattan for about a fifty percent hour spanning the attack,” photographer Stan Honda said. “I ongoing to photograph, but the exhilaration blocked out the sun and it ended up being like night. Ns was near an office building, and also a police officer to be pulling civilization in to obtain them the end of danger. Ns went in, and there was a tiny lobby whereby a few people were gathered, as puzzled as ns was about what to be happening.”

A minute later, Honda experienced Borders and also snapped a photo. She was 28 in ~ the time, working as a legitimate assistant at bank of America in the north Tower the the people Trade Center.

“It’s difficult to phone call what shade her dress or boots are. There is obviously several dust in the air,” he said. “The yellow color is native the digital camera being collection for daylight or external light; the indoor irradiate comes throughout as yellow. In the rush to gain out the photos later that day, ns didn’t ‘correct’ the color. The color adds come the photo. It has an ominous feeling to it.”

Honda met boundaries a year later at her Bayonne, brand-new Jersey, apartment and also was relieved she was OK. However she passed away of stomach cancer in 2015. She was 42 year old.

“How carry out you go from being healthy to waking up the following day through cancer?” she stated in one interview through the Jersey Journal before her death. “I’m speak to myself, ‘Did (the towers’ collapse) ignite cancer cells in me?’”

Thousands of survivors and an initial responders have been diagnosed v cancers result from the terrorist attack, follow to the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention. Reports from the CDC uncovered that the fallen of the towers exposed workers and also the basic public come a variety of known chemistry carcinogens.

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“As i made my way downtown come the area where this photo was taken, ~ above Church Street near the intersection v Dey Street, it was daunting to make feeling of what was going on,” photographer Justin lane said. “The city blocks were unrecognizable through dust and also smoke.

“It to be clear a tremendous number of people had died, and it to be clear that the level that tragedy was enormous. And it was scary to see so many first responders in the middle of reconciling v the overwhelming nature that the situation. I’ve always felt the this photo captures a small moment of that feeling.”