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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Comments

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(Sometimes there just aren't any words.)

All right thinking people around the world condemn this horrendous and cowardly act. Our thoughts are with the families of those who died, and with those, lake Sal, who survived.

Durbna, South Africa 9/11/2011

Quite possibly the most touching and heartbreaking blog post I've ever read. Photos matter. Stories matter. But most of all, people matter. Thank you for bringing these images, this story and this hero into even greater significance.

Thank you posting this. As an european, I don't think I have ever been able to understand the feelings that 9/11 inspired in so many people before now. Donating some money to TOP now :)

A beautiful written and personal account of the most tragic of events.
On that fateful day my brother in law was in NY. We had to make many phone calls and eventually found out that he was fortunately in a hotel a few blocks away from the twin towers which he had frequented. Like wise when the tsunami hit Sri Lanka he did the same thing trying to find me and fortunately I had departed Columbo when it hit but the place I had been staying in was washed away. We remember those days...

This is a beautiful story, Peter, many thanks! It is very fine and good you showed the courage and will to contact Salvatore in such a respectful way. Please try to stay in touch with him, he may not live long. I send him (and you) all my respect.

Glad you met, & shared face to face.
Total Respect for you both.

Bear
Cusco Peru

Very nice essay. The emotion and thoughtfulness come through beautifully. This was better than anything I've been reading in the papers or seeing on tv.

Thanks

On the momentous occasion that this day recalls, I am sure that there will be other recollections and stories shared by many people. All will be poignant and emotional, but I doubt that many will have the impact and humanity of this.

Thank you to both men, the hero and the witness, who did their duty that day. And thank you for telling the story, most importantly to each other, but also to us.

This is a story worth being repeated. I have forwarded this to family and friends .

The effects of that day, observed from 800 miles away, on my emotions were greater than any news event in my lifetime (64 years). Many of those emotions just came rushing back while reading this. I don't think my year in Viet Nam affected me the way 9/11 did.

I was sitting in Starbucks on my iPad reading this article. It made me forgot momentarily my own problems and I had to fight the urge to shed tears in public.

I am not American, do not stay in the US and knew no friends who perished on this day 10 years ago, yet the story of grief, sorrow and loss is a universal one, and the events of Sep 11th reverberates worldwide till this day. 10 years ago, this day caused me to pick up the camera with a renewed purpose of documenting the world.

Thank you Mike and Peter for this poignant post!

It is the individual stories and not the pomp and circumstance that continues to move me to tears.

Heroes choose to put themselves in harms way without any expectation of thanks, so thank you Sal and thank you Peter. And thank you to all those who went to help.

It is not enough.

From just north of New York City but a lifetime away...

Jim

Peter, thank you for so eloquently sharing Sal's experience with us. I think I finally understand the shared grief that we all carry, that we couldn't "do more to help". The only answer I have is that we must try every day to leave the World an even better place than we found it.
Carol

I imagine that, even though you didn't write this Mike, you won't mind me saying that this is one of the most moving posts I have ever read on TOP.

wow --- what a story

Such a great story. Thank you for sharing this and a BIG thank you to the people like Sal & Nick. You will not be forgotten.

Thank you Mike.......

Thank you Peter.......

I have been watching the live coverage of 9/11 on the TV. I have then remembered Michael's message that there would be a special post in TOP today. Having read it now, with tears in my eyes, I can say that it is more than just special. But I cannot find the right words to describe my feelings. Thank you Peter for sharing these memories with us.

Thank you.

An interesting counterpoint to all of today's activities: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/december-7-1951

Have my own feelings about 9/11. As a foreigner, not entirely enthralled with US politics, looked on the event differently. Felt on seeing the buildings collapse "somebody, somewhere designed the buildings to collapse down and not out. "Otherwise the loss of life and yes physical structures would have been much worse.

Peter's description of Sal was the poignant description of an indiviudal simply doing his job; in a way 9/11 was a disaster as are so many others similar. and the people responded as expected in many ways.

We shall probably never know exactly what the cause was, any more than theories revolve around the Kennedy assasination in 1963. Paranoia is now the watchword in the UNited States where police now seem to have unlimited power, everybody is running scared which was what the event
was intended to do.

Bottom line, it is a part of your country's history, and heritage. Just leave it at that and move on, as with
the passage of time itself.

Moving story and moving pictures. Thank you Peter.

Thank you Mike....

Thank you Peter....

Thank you for a very moving remembrance. My best to Sal and Linda, and to you and David. It's the little things that make the moment.

Peter. So well written, and I feel it is an honor that you have recounted this slice of life post-9/11. It is only one permutation of possibly hundreds of thousands of stories, but it really brings home to my heart the tribulations and strength of you and your friend Sal. A very unique bond yo have Peter, and it is wonderful to have been priveleged to hear this vignette of dignity from you.

Laurence Smith

Thanks for your photo and story... both striking the essence of the real. While we may never know the true origin of 911, the outcomes are well known and your photograph is an incredible document.

My sincerest thanks to you both.

Chris

Only when reading this post for the third time did I see that its name was "The Thousand-Yard Stare". I was sure I was reading "The Thousand-Year Stare".
Thank you very much for this moving memory of the day

My sincerest thanks, respect and sympathy to the three of you. As a European I look back on the last century with our own history so rich in bloodshed and human suffering. Maybe that´s why an individual story makes me understand your feelings much better than all the official rememberance stuff. This is certainly the most moving and maybe the most important TOP post ever. As a pixel counter and gearhead I feel deeply ashamed. So much more important things going on...
What about a print sale with the money donated to Sal?
Keep up the good work,
Lutz

Wow, this is amazing. Very beautiful story, it moved me to tears. Sometimes I think of events like this as one massive thing, not of thousands, tenthousends, millions of individuals that are in some way part of this. This individual story makes clear again that all those people have their own story and experiences with 9/11. You both are heroes.

Thanks very much for the story. Today everyone is thinking of that day 10 years ago. It's nice to hear that you and Sal got something positive out of this tragedy.

Thank you so much for sharing this moving story. I am really touched by your essay. I am so glad that you finally met Sal. I am glad you had that opportunity because from our conversations in Paris, I was concerned the meeting opportunity might not take place.

As you have so aptly described, photography is storytelling. You photos tell that story of the aftermath of 9/11.

In a split second lives change for ever. Life isn't fair, but it goes on.

Thanks again.

John

A beautiful story, Peter, and beautifully told. Bonded in friendship by memory and pain. Thanks for putting it all down so eloquently and affectingly.

Thank you, Peter, for such an emotional post.

Jose
Lima, Peru

Thank you Peter. (And Mike.)

The shock reaction of civilians is often similar with what soldiers experience on the battlefield. But I would not attempt to make it fair by mix it together because it is not.

thank you Peter, and thank you Mike. You show the meaning of bearing witness, and what it means to be human. Not many people can do this, and you make those around you better. (go on, take the compliment!)

Thank you Peter. I made a point, for reasons I can't fully understand, of not reading any of the 9/11 articles posted these last few days, or watching any of the innumerable TV specials. I guess I just wanted to spend the day mulling my own thoughts on the matter. But I noted Mike's comment, several days ago, about your upcoming article, so I made this one exception. And I'm glad I did. Very moving. Thanks for sharing.

Really a tremendous story - thanks for sharing it here. I flew out of Boston to NYC and arrived at La Guardia by about 7:30am. I was on a bridge to the Bronx when my wife called to see if I was OK. This was the first I had heard of it even though I was now in NY.

I am a commercial photographer. I could see the tops of the WTC buildings and the smoke plumes from the roof of the school I was shooting. But while I had a good sense of the gravity of what was going on, I did not have a burning desire to make my way to lower Manhattan - whether I could have gotten there or not.

I say this as a testament to these photojournalists. It's in their blood. I know if I was there I could make lots of great images, but I'm not there. I don't get there. I don't have this trigger in me that says that I must get there and make images. Part of me wishes I did while part of me is relieved.

I think it is very similar to other areas of your life and how people respond. Some people rush to scenes of danger despite the risk, others avoid them at all cost. Some are thrust unwillingly into a moment like this and finally get the answer to that latent question - "What would I do?"

Most people, the lucky ones I guess, skim through life never really sure how they would respond in a moment of terror?

There is a song by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones that speaks to this thought - The Impression That I Get. I'm not a huge MMB fan but the lyrics of this song always stuck with me.

So thank you to Peter, Sal and folks with this type of outward heroism in your blood. We are safer because of people like Sal and more knowledgeable because of people like Peter.

Peter's story made me sob openly! I don't cry easily: but I feel so much for Sal! This is easily the most amazing story I have ever read about 9/11, and the best post on TOP *EVER*! Another poster said "What about a print sale with the money donated to Sal?". I completely agree!! Mike: you have been musing about a print sale of your own shots - do it for this! I'm in Australia, and far away from NY; but Peter's story made the horror of this event seem like it happened next door. You are a hero Sal, as are your colleagues!

Peter, thanks for the story behind the "thousand yard stare" photograph.

There is a palpable sense of family, amongst firefighters, around our little blue spec in the cosmos. And like most families, those physically closer, those with whom we turn out to jobs, with those we develop extra strong bonds, as demonstrated by Sal.

Here in the antipodes, we too, particularly remember those who ran towards the World Trade Centre, and their comrades who participated in the search for survivors.

A touching story, and a great advert for the power of photography and photo-journalism.

Thank you, Peter. I'm suffering a bit from 9/11 fatigue, and your article made that a little bit better for me; you seem to me to address real things, and not engage in posturing.

Yesterday, the History Channel ran a very interesting program on the subject of the 9/11 attacks titled "102 Minutes That Changed America". It consisted of film footage shot by nine videographers including some pros and some amateurs. The History Channel did a good job putting the videos together to tell the story of that morning without using extra commentary from "talking heads" at the news companies. If they run it again, I recommend watching it.

Thanks, Peter, Sal, and Mike for this beautiful story.

Thank you for such a great article and photographic inspiration. And thanks to Sal and his friends for their selfless courage.
Ever since that day, their example has led me to do work for people in places I'm not sure I would have ever gone. Their relentless recovery work after the attacks reminded me that everyone matters and deserves dignity in life as well as death.

Great photos. Keep up the good work.

I am so glad a photographer friend forwarded your post to me. I too am drawn to the personal stories from this massive event (and others) that changed our lives in so many ways. It is the individual people who create history.

My thanks to you, to Salvatore and Linda for sharing the story, and for taking the required time and consideration to do so. My heartfelt best wishes.

The guts and sinew of humanity read raw,cried.Thank you.

PETER,DAVID AND I ALL WORKED FOR NEWSWEEK FOR MANY YEARS.I'M FAMILIAR WITH THEIR WORK AND AM A GREAT ADMIRER OF THEIR IMAGES AND COURAGE. IT TAKES COURAGE TO PLACE YOURSELF IN HARM'S WAY.THEIR MISSION IS SIMPLE AND DIFFICULT.THEY ARE OUR WITNESS.THEY TELL THE STORY IN VISUAL TERMS THAT OUR EYES CANNOT DENY.IMAGINE TURNING ON YOUR CAR RADIO AND HEARING A DESCRIPTION OF THE TOWERS DISTRESS.AS EXACT AS IT MAY BE,IT PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE VISUAL IMAGE.
PETER WAS NOT ON ASSIGNMENT HERE.HE WASN'T BEING PAID.HE WAS THERE BECAUSE THIS IS HIS JOB.HE WILL BE WHEREVER A STORY IS TO BE TOLD.HEED LESS OF THE DANGER,THE TURNLEYS WILL BE FOUND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MESS FOLLOWING THE MONTRA OF EVERY CARING,COMPASSIONATE PHOTOJOURNALIST WHEN ASKED WHAT THE LIGHT IS LIKE,"IT'S F8 AND BE THERE."
WELL DONE PETER.AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WONDERFUL TEXT. WITH A KISS ON BOTH CHEEKS, MEL DI GIACOMO

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