Cover image for Above hallowed ground : a photographic record of September 11, 2001
Above hallowed ground : a photographic record of September 11, 2001
Sweet, Christopher.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Viking Studio, [2002]

Physical Description:
190 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6432 .A3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
HV6432 .A3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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On the morning of September 11th, a new kind of horror shook the world. Terrorists crashed two passenger airliners into the World Trade Center in the worst attack on U.S. soil in the nation's history. But at the same time a new generation of heroes rose up to fight it. This book chronicles not only the devastation of that day, but also the valor and heroism of those who saved thousands of lives.

Not one of these photographs has been published before. On top of that, these images offer a vantage point no ordinary photographers could obtain: They were taken by members of the New York City Police Department, uniformed and civilian, who were on the scene moments after the first plane hit and who were behind the scenes during the entire rescue and recovery effort.

Many officers took pictures during the course of their duties. Some were inside the lobbies of the World Trade Center before they collapsed. Some were in helicopters hovering near the burning towers. Some were trapped in the dust cloud after the buildings fell. They took pictures of the pandemonium around them, the fear, the effort, the exasperation. This collection portrays the courage of those who rushed into the danger so that others could escape it.

One of the featured photographers, Detective Dave Fitzpatrick, was off duty when he heard a report of the attack over his radio. He immediately went to an NYPD airfield, joined a crew boarding a police helicopter, and flew to the World Trade Center. They arrived right after the second plane hit and were instructed to observe the scene and watch for any other incoming aircraft. Over the course of three flights that day, Fitzpatrick shot thousands of photographs that became the only aerial views of the devastation and early rescue efforts downtown. He also covered all Ground Zero operations for the next two months. His best photos, along with those of numerous other members of the NYPD, have been collected in this book. Together they make up the most in-depth visual document of the September 11th tragedy and its aftermath.

Author Notes

Established in 1845, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the United States and is one of the most recognizable law enforcement agencies in the world.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-One of the better photographic remembrances of the World Trade Center disaster. None of these color photos have heretofore been published and many depict scenes or were taken from positions that were off-limits to commercial or amateur photographers. Particularly breathtaking are those taken by Dave Fitzpatrick, an off-duty detective who rushed to board a police helicopter that morning and spent the remainder of the day taking thousands of photographs "that became the only aerial views of the devastation and early rescue efforts." The photos are chronologically arranged, beginning minutes after the first plane hit the North Tower, continuing through the succeeding days of search-and-rescue operations, and culminating with the cleanup. Many are full page and there are at least a dozen spreads. As a "photographic record," this coffee-table-sized book documents a historic event, confirming, for example, why no rooftop rescues were possible and the extent of the damage to the entire area now known as Ground Zero. It also stands as a tribute to the public-safety employees, construction workers, and volunteers who worked side by side throughout a horrific ordeal. The book is dedicated to the 23 members of the NYPD who were lost that day and to their families.-Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 Heading west to lower Manhattan, over Brooklyn. The two burning towers from the north. Circling the World Trade Center, the towers from the south, beyond the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan. Nobody was visible on the roofs. Flying in a wide circle over midtown looking for incoming rogue aircraft when the south tower fell at 9:50. The Staten Island ferry making its way toward Manhattan. At 10:28 the north tower started to come down. Banking to the right to head back downtown, the helicopter blade same into the frame. A vast cloud of smoke, dust, and debris engulfed the financial district. Buildings disappeared, boats fled the scene. There was silence. In the helicopter-the collapse, the cloud made no sound, and no one spoke. Excerpted from ABOVE HALLOWED GROUND Copyright © 2002 by The New York City Police Foundation, Inc. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.