September 11, 2001. – "My Day Ten Years Ago…"

SPECIAL TO NEW YORK DAILY NEWS– American Airlines aircraft sit idle at the gate at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Logan was the airport where two of the four hijacked planes took off from, both hitting the World Trade Center in New York. (Chet Gordon for the NY Daily News/THE IMAGE WORKS)

Everybody remembers where they were on this date, just as folks from an earlier generation can recall where they were on November 22, 1963 when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was gunned down in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Since I couldn’t get any further south than Yonkers, NY by car while the events were unfolding in lower Manhattan, (I was living in lower Westchester County near the CT border at the time), I was instructed by the photo desk in New York to “Go to Boston…!” I can still hear those frantic orders from the photo editor at the time, on a gas station pay phone – as there was no cellular service. I’ll never forget how quickly I made it to Boston’s Logan airport for the back story of where two of the hijacked American Airlines jetliners took off from, and eventually crashed into the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. I was able to make a few images on an original Nikon D-1 series camera from the paper, but back then I had no way to transmit or email my images back to New York. There was no readily available wi-fi or hotspots to access the internet. In fact, I don’t think I had all the proper software on my Apple G3 laptop to edit and transmit images remotely anyway. I’d only been shooting and scanning film negatives to email via a phone DSL modem. I had to find the Boston office of the AP, so they could move my images. I think we moved only three or four images from the airport and the following press conference at one of the big name hotels near the harbor. Then after winding down in Boston that evening, I was told to head back to New York, and “Be ready to go to work tomorrow…” Talk about a day. Nothing near what some of my colleagues in the business experienced, saw, and photographed, but it’s a day seared in my memory as well… ~cg.

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