9/11 Six Years On

September 11, 2007 | By Mario Tama | News

I’ve probably been to the Ground Zero site 60 or so times since 9/11/01 and visiting each new time is like watching an old photograph age and fade away. Of course I’ll never forget those first horrific days, but returning to the site now leaves very little context of what went on that Tuesday morning. There is still a giant hole in the ground but it is now just a construction site.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Greenwich Street, which I sprinted down trying to outrun the tornado of dust and debris as the South Tower fell, now is just like any other Manhattan avenue, with shops, taxis, parking garages and Wall Street types hustling past on the sidewalk. I shot a ceremony outside a firehouse this morning where the firefighters observed moments of silence at the times the planes struck the towers.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

The paradox of the cleanup and recovery is that there are very few symbols remaining of what happened that day. I spent last week down at the site shooting for a multimedia piece on what Ground Zero looks and feels like now. I recall as a kid being taken to a Civil War battlefield by my father one day and complaining to him that there was nothing to see. I’m pretty sure most visitors to Ground Zero now feel like I did that day at Antietam.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

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