A New York City fireman calls for ten more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble in this evocative photograph by U.S. Navy Photographer's Mate 1st Class Preston Keres. In the months and years since 9/11, the word "heroes" has been tossed around so much that, in some respects, it's been made meaningless. But no sensible human being would argue that the work performed at Ground Zero by countless first responders -- police, EMTs, firefighters, and unheralded, anonymous volunteers who scrambled on to "the pile" seeking survivors -- was anything less than heroic. It's an observation made a thousand times before, and yet it still bears repeating: as hundreds of thousands of panicked New Yorkers and tourists fled to safety and shelter, running away from the devastation, first responders were racing into the unimaginable slaughter and destruction. This photo -- and its call for "ten more" -- remains a distilled reminder of their bravery and sacrifice.
(Photo: U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres)
Like a scene from an uneasy dream, Doug Kanter's picture of a man standing amid the seemingly endless World Trade Center rubble, calling out for survivors, brings to mind the sense so many of us shared on 9/11 and in the days and weeks after: What, in the face of such annihilation, can one person do? "I was on autopilot after the first tower fell," Kanter told LIFE.com. After briefly taking shelter, he stepped outside into streets that "were pretty much deserted, and that's when the person in the picture emerged. He looked like he might be a maintenance worker, had a fire extinguisher in his hand, and was calling out to see if anyone could hear him, saying they should make noise, and people would come and help." Not long after Kanter took this photo, a police office hustled him away from the spot. Minutes later, the second tower collapsed.
(Photo: DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on September 11, 2001 by the New York City Police Department as the North Tower collapses, engulfing lower Manhattan in smoke and ash.
(Photo: AP Photo/NYPD, Det. Greg Semendinger)
A satellite image of lower Manhattan shows smoke and ash rising from the site of the World Trade Center at 11:43 AM on September 12, 2001. The fires at Ground Zero continued to burn for 99 days after the attack -- a bleak reminder, day and night, of the thousands who lost their lives, and the countless millions more who lived, but whose lives were forever transformed.
(Photo: Getty Images)
In an image that reflects the Dantesque surreality of 9/11, witnesses watch flames spew from one of the several buildings -- in addition to the Twin Towers -- damaged or destroyed in lower Manhattan. Mario Tama's photograph has a vertiginous feel that recalls the swirl of emotions that we endured on 9/11 and, in a sense, in the years since. In layer upon layer, the image reflects the ordinariness of the day -- pedestrians, bicyclists, trees, street signs -- jarringly juxtaposed against an inferno. As details emerge (the police in the distance, the masks on people's faces, debris in the street), the image evolves from a portrait of mere disaster to a chronicle of a singular, era-defining cataclysm.
(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
7 incredible stories of heroism on 9/11 - Business Insider
Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 (L) flies toward the World Trade Center twin towers shortly before slamming into the south tower (L) as the north tower burns following an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City September 11, 2001. The stunning aerial assaults on the huge commercial complex where more than 40,000 people worked on an ordinary day were part of a coordinated attack aimed at the nation's financial heart. They destroyed one of America's most dramatic symbols of power and financial strength and left New York reeling.
9/11: The 25 Most Powerful Photoswww.theodysseyonline.com