Rather than choosing images that display your typical journey, I chose to look further, choosing these three images that show not only the massive physical journey ahead, but also the mental voyage ahead.
These three photographs were taken as the rescue and recovery effort began after the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on the morning of September 11th 2001.
Finding these photographs on the Internet, neither had a description, or any type of explanation at all, but to me it is not particularly necessary. Both of these images reflect the enormous rescue and clean up efforts by the extremely brave emergency services of New York City.
On the morning of September 11th, the New York City Fire Department deployed 200 units, which is half of their whole department, to the site of the World Trade Center, 400 fire-fighters were on the scene. The NYPD and Port Authority Police officers on the site were both given orders to evacuate, leaving the FDNY to conduct the rescue of civilians alone. Due to loss of contact through a number of radio difficulties, many fire-fighters did not receive evacuation orders even after the first tower had collapsed, resulting in a traumatic loss of life for 343 of those fire- fighters brave enough to enter the buildings.
In the moment these photographs were captured, New York’s emergency services would not have known the scale of this operation, which would take 8 months to complete. The short term goals of these fire-fighters was to evacuate every single person from the buildings, in the following days these goals then changed into recovering the bodies of those who had unfortunately passed to give their grieving families sorrow, but also relief. Many of the workers of this rescue and recovery effort still suffer to this day, both physically and mentally. Not only do these three photographs represent a physical struggle to sift through the massive amount of debris, but it also reflects the mental journey through dealing with the colossal trauma for years to come.