A year in the life...

After September 11th
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 - After September 11th - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

Four days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Hobbitt and I went to visit the scene. Both of us had worked at a number of locations in the Wall Street area, some of them adjacent to the World Trade Center, now destroyed. We were quite familiar with the area and wanted to see the effect on places that we knew.

This was the first day that the public had been allowed below 14th Street. We walked down the west side and got as far south as Canal Street. The way past this was blocked by the police. We wandered over to the East Side and found a place where we could continue downtown.

As we got near the Wall Street area, police were stopping people to caution them about the dangers, especially the smoke and the pollution from the collapse of the buildings, and from the fires, still burning four days later. For those who continued south, they handed out masks. You could smell it and see it in the air. Even with the masks, which soon turned dirty, you could feel it at the back of your throat.

Here is the Hobbitt in her mask. Behind her is Wall Street, looking towards Broadway. The flags are flying in front of the Stock Exchange, due to reopen in just over a week.

Two days earlier, the Bush administration, speaking through the EPA said that the air down here was safe to breathe. There was no danger. Based on this assurance, thousands of people returned to the downtown area. Rescue workers and police, already there, stopped wearing their respirators. Stockbrokers and other employees returned to their jobs. Schoolchildren returned to school. And residents returned to their homes.

Now, four years later, as hundreds of people with respiratory ailments come forward, the truth is beginning to come out. There was political pressure, from the highest levels of the administration, to declare the area safe, even before adequate testing could be done. As a result, the long term toll from these lies may eventually be greater than the loss of life of the original attack.

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