Not one of these photographs has been published before. On top of that, these images offer a vantage point no ordinary photographers could obtain: They were taken by members of the New York City Police Department, uniformed and civilian, who were on the scene moments after the first plane hit and who were behind the scenes during the entire rescue and recovery effort.
Many officers took pictures during the course of their duties. Some were inside the lobbies of the World Trade Center before they collapsed. Some were in helicopters hovering near the burning towers. Some were trapped in the dust cloud after the buildings fell. They took pictures of the pandemonium around them, the fear, the effort, the exasperation. This collection portrays the courage of those who rushed into the danger so that others could escape it.
One of the featured photographers, Detective Dave Fitzpatrick, was off duty when he heard a report of the attack over his radio. He immediately went to an NYPD airfield, joined a crew boarding a police helicopter, and flew to the World Trade Center. They arrived right after the second plane hit and were instructed to observe the scene and watch for any other incoming aircraft. Over the course of three flights that day, Fitzpatrick shot thousands of photographs that became the only aerial views of the devastation and early rescue efforts downtown. He also covered all Ground Zero operations for the next two months. His best photos, along with those of numerous other members of the NYPD, have been collected in this book. Together they make up the most in-depth visual document of the September 11th tragedy and its aftermath.