Several photographers from Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) took part in documenting the national day of remembrance that captured the resiliency and unity of the country on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. As part of “Project 9.11” forty members of the the Professional Photographers of New York State (PPSNYS), captured images during a “day in the life of New York State” on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Here are several images that were captured on that day by GRPP photographers Patrick Luke and Terri Parthum. Select images from all participating photographers will be published in a book.
Patrick Luke: On the morning of the attacks, I was sitting in a meeting a Kodak when we first heard that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. We joked that, in the world of radar and GPS, how could that happen similar to when a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State building amid a heavy fog in the 1940s? After hearing that a 2nd plane crashed into the 2nd tower, all I remember thinking was that we were under attack, and that a nuclear WW III was about to start. Still reeling from the death of my first daughter 3 years prior, my first thought was, “if this is going to happen, I’m going to be home with my family”. I immediately left work…almost crashing into two cars in the parking lot… and picked up my 2nd daughter from the baby sitter and went home to watch the events unfold on TV like the rest of the nation. Although we were free to capture anything going on that day, I chose to capture people remembering the events of the day and showing patriotism. I attended a service to honor the first responders who lost heir lives: the firefighters, police officers and EMTs who rushed towards the disaster as everyone else was running away from it. I then visited the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) to see an exhibit of artifacts that were recovered from the attack sites and tributes to some of the victims.
Terri Parthum: I attended the Operation Patriot Foundation 9/11 Anniversary Ride. The motorcyclists rode from Ontario Beach Park to the Brockport Fire Department 9/11 Memorial., which contains a piece of steel from the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Patriot Guard Motorcyclists lead the way for other participating motorcycle clubs (500 bikes in all). Members of the Brockport Fire Department stood guard over the memorial on September 11th.
As soon as I changed my calendar from August to September, I started seeing the towers in my mind, feeling the deep sadness for the families of the lost, and remembered the fear we all had in the days that followed.
I can’t believe it’s actually been 10 years since that unimaginable day. I had been sick all weekend that year, and eventually made the decision to call in to spare everyone from my germs and sluggishness.
I worked in a professional digital call center for Kodak and if you weren’t completely on your toes, you would never make it through the day. So, there I was…in bed feeling sorry for myself, when I got the call to turn on the t.v. Like everyone else, I was glued to the screen, mouth gaping open, grabbing tissue after tissue wiping tears from what I was seeing.
A few hours later, the news let us know that the Red Cross was waiting for any blood donations they could find. All I wanted to do was to drive to NYC to help, but in my heart I knew that I wasn’t the right person to be able to do much of anything. So, what I could do, was to give blood to my local Red Cross. I knew it would be really busy, so I hopped on my bike and rode over.
The nights and days following were solemn. I remember seeing memorials everywhere. I lived in the city of Rochester, and as you walked through the neighborhoods, there were candles, flags, and flowers on the porch steps, and in windows.
In thinking back to those 10 years ago, the American flag is what stuck out in my mind the most. I used to take it for granted sometimes, or forget about it … but now when I see one, I am instantly filled with pride and hope.
On this 10th year remembrance, I was going to head out and photograph some of the events that were going on to commemorate that day in history, but all I could think about was my family. How I still have a family, and how all the families out there had lost so many loved ones. I decided the best way to honor them, was to spend that time with my family and to proudly wave the flag at our home. So that’s what I did, and they were some of the best hours of my life.