III - Bearing Witness
(The following is from the Forward of Bearing Witness by Jay Maisel, 2011, Self-Published)
All of us were forever marked by the obscenity of that day. Denial, depression, anger, reactive symptoms of death, all took their toll. It wasn’t the focused fury of December 7th, 1941, or the sadness of November 22, 1963. Though I lived through all those dates: I was 10 during Pearl Harbor and 32 when Kennedy was assassinated.
This time, when the twin towers came down, I was 70 years old and concerned about my daughter Amanda, who was only 8. Though you may be fearless in youth, once you have a child you worry a lot. All parents know that.
Two weeks after 9/11, still numb, depressed, and disconnected (as we all were), I had to go to ground zero. I took my camera but I had no idea what I was going to see, do, or photograph. I just had to be there, to bear witness to what had happened and was happening.
This is a record of some of what I saw.
It’s been almost 10 years now, and I feel I must do this book. It’s dedicated to all those who are in it and all those who are no longer with us. I felt a kinship with all those I photographed that day, as we all feel a kinship with those who died that day.
People have asked if I lost anyone I knew that day.
My answer is no; I lost them all.