Bernard Weil/Chief Photographer/Multimedia
I had just returned the night before from a week long assignment photographing Tiger Woods at the Canadian Open in Montreal and hoped to get a few days off. That all changed when my father called to give me the news that a plane had struck the New York World Trade Center tower. Stunned at what I was watching on tv, I realized, just like everyone else on the planet, that it must be a terrorist attack.
After several calls to the office, I raced out the door en route to New York, picked up Star columnist Rosie Dimanno in St. Catharines and headed for the border despite false radio reports that it had been closed. My mind raced throughout the 11 hour drive as reports continued to stream in that Manhattan was sealed off and that the bridges to the island and other landmarks might be targeted for attack.
Once there, my concerns quickly changed to that of logistics. Power was out in the area and cellphone communication was impossible. The only way to transmit photos back to the Star would be to leave the secured area without any possible hope of getting back in. Luckily, a lone security guard in an evacuated building near ground zero pointed out a working phone jack that he'd let me use.
Below is a selection of images I took during the week I was there, most of them unpublished. The sites and smells will forever be burned in my mind. Little did I know at the time that the events that unfolded were a prelude to future 9/11 related assignments, return trips to ground zero and my eventual coverage of Canada's role in the war in Afghanistan.
Jason Read, with the Amwell Valley Rescue Company from Princeton, New Jersey, stands in front of the building that is directly opposite Building Seven, part of the World Trade Centre complex, September 12.
The wreckage of the South Tower of the World Trade Center lies still and smouldering.
Firemen survey damage to nearby buildings around the World Trade Centre.
Ten blocks from the site of the disaster, people sit grieving.
Twisted metal and powdered concrete was all that remained for the most part.
New York police travel on bicycless to ground zero.
Workers in a crane hoisted bucket are framed by the massive wreckage of the South Tower.
Tributes lay on powdered concrete, which in many places I was walking ankle deep in. I could find no concrete pieces or shards of glass, just powder.
A police officer clears a ledge outside a building across from the Trade Center. Lower Manhattan was blanketed in a fine powder and singed papers.
Hand print on a window inside a building across from ground zero.
I can only hope that the drivers of the hundreds of mangled vehicles that I saw were all safe.
Emergency crew scramble to set up fire hoses amidst the wreckage.
Building Seven, part of the World Trade complex, viewed through a window across the street.
Street scene around the perimeter of ground zero. New Yorkers at their emotional wits end break into spontaneous hugs.
A woman mourns the victims during a vigil at Union Square, September 14.
New Yorkers find comfort in each other.
The casket of Father Mychal Judge, Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York, is carried past 24 Hook and Ladder Station, during his funeral ceremony. Judge was killed in the collapse of the north tower and is officially the first fatality of the World Trade Centre disaster.
Firefighters say goodbye to Father Mychal Judge.
Firefighters console each other at the funeral for Father Mychal Judge.
Security is kept tight Sunday Sept. 16 as preparations are being made to open the New York Stock Exchange the next day.
Inside the Exchange, a moment of silence was followed by the singing of "God Bless America" and the ringing of the opening bell, Sept. 17, 2001. The week-long shutdown was the longest since 1933.
A trader watches as the market melts away. The market fell 684 points, the biggest single day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.
A pedestrian prays outside the New York Stock Exchange, September 17, after a week-long closure.
New Yorker's sentiments were to the point.