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My 9/11 Photos: 10 Years Later

Brandon photographer and Navy veteran Kitt Amaritnant remembers the day that shook America's sense of security forever.

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, was a beautiful day. The sky was bright blue with no clouds in sight. The autumn breeze was crisp, cool and clean. However, that beautiful morning would later unfold hell.

It was an unimaginable horror that forever was engraved into our hearts, minds and our history. From that day forward, America launched a global war on terrorism. This country and the world have never been the same since then.

I was a civilian working at a publishing company during that time. Our building had a clear view of the World Trade Center, and we couldn't look away from the big column of vertical smoke that used to be a skyscraper. We didn't stay around to witness the collapse of the second tower; we evacuated because all the communications systems were out of service.

For the first time in a long time, I saw two grown men cry. One was among the crowd at the office and another cried beside his pick-up truck on the street as I was taking a very long walk home.

I enlisted in the Navy in April 2002 to lend our country a hand. Four years later, I was in the Middle East's combat zones to record history.

You'll find some of my photos from that time accompanying this article. The purpose of this body of work is to examine what kind of impact the destruction of the World Trade Center has had on New York and the world. What I found was grief and a shattered sense of security. Yet there were also unity and a slight glimpse of hope we would recover.

Most of the photographs are long exposures, taken at night with a Leica M6 with Tri-X 400 film on Super Axis 2203 tripod. They were taken from mid-September to November 2001.

Kitt Amaritnant September 12, 2011 at 09:29 PM
I'm interested to hear how the collapse of WTC impacted on our lives? As a New Yorker living in Queens, my office building in Downtown Manhattan was only 10 blocks away from Ground Zero. The destruction had an immediate and tremendous shock to me. Though I didn't know anyone who lost their lives that day, it drove me into great sadness and perhaps depression for two long months. I didn't notice an inferior air quality in the Ground Zero vicinity, only the smell of burning jet fuel from incessant rising white smoke. Later while making long-exposure night photographs, I couldn't tolerate it any longer. The smell was at best comparable to a missing Soldier's remains recovery mission at a landfill in Iraq.

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